Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
KEY MEMBER OF ELMORE JAMES AND HIS BROOMDUSTERS 1950'S SIDE
Stuart Jefferson | San Diego,Ca | 02/02/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"One disc 56 minutes in length approximately. The sound is very good,especially from tapes from the 1950's. The booklet gives a short but informative overview of J.T. Brown's life in music. This set is actually somewhere between 3 and 4 "stars",depending on Brown's rudimentary appeal to your ears. I was listening to the vinyl version of this set I purchased so many years ago,and thought it deserved to be brought to the attention of blues listeners.
The late J.T. Brown (tenor sax/vocals) was surely not the best horn player,nor vocalist. But he had that certain "something"-apparently enough of that undefinable,yet exciting quality that had people like Muddy Waters,the great J.B. Lenoir,and others,who used Brown on a number of their recordings. Of course,most blues listeners know Brown from his days with ELMORE JAMES AND HIS BROOMDUSTERS. In that great little hard-driving group,Brown's sax was an integral part of that slashing,exciting,visceral sound,filling in any spaces between James' guitar frenzy,and occasionally,as a featured soloist.
This album collects a large number of tracks Brown recorded for the J.O.B.,Atomic-H,and United labels,covering the 50's. There are a number of different tracks (with many tracks from this set) on Classics Records "J.T. Brown 1950-1954",if you want early and at the time,unreleased sides which are of equal worth.
The tracks on "Windy City Boogie" range from sax/vocal to instrumentals. Brown's sax tone was definitely untutored,and a bit rough around the edges (referred to as sounding like a nanny goat),and his deep,smooth vocal abilities were from the same mold. The various bands are a bit slipshod on the arrangements,but the combination has it's own appeal. There are a number of well known musicians on this set-Lafayette Leake,Little Brother Montgomery-piano,Jody Williams,the great Matt "Guitar" Murphy-guitar,Willie Dixon,Ransom Knowling,"Big" Crawford-bass,Fred Below,S.P. Leary,Jump Jackson-drums,and a few others.
Brown recorded a number of regional hits-the title track is probably his best known tune-but he never broke out to wider public acclaim. But with his work as a member of Elmore James' group,and as a sideman with other more well known artists,Brown's name is forever cemented to the era when gritty,hard driving,electrified blues was at it's apogee. Its interesting that many blues listeners came to know Brown through FLEETWOOD MAC's (especially with Jeremy Spencer as a member) recreation of both Brown's and Elmore James' sound,on a number of the Mac's early recordings,and Brown's playing with the group on "Blues Jam At Chess" set.
For listeners who want to explore more deeply into one of the people who made Elmore James' group so exciting and important,this album will do it. While his sound was rudimentary on sax,and his vocals were okay to serviceable,J.T. Brown was sought after for studio work with some of the era's important artists-listening to this might tell you why."