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Essential Little Walter
Little Walter
Essential Little Walter
Genres: Blues, Pop
  •  Track Listings (24) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (22) - Disc #2

Essential is right! The blues would be a very different, considerably tamer animal were it not for Little Walter. While the Chess roster in the '50s was littered with aces, only Muddy Waters scored on the charts with great...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Little Walter
Title: Essential Little Walter
Members Wishing: 6
Total Copies: 0
Label: Mca
Original Release Date: 6/8/1993
Release Date: 6/8/1993
Genres: Blues, Pop
Styles: Chicago Blues, Electric Blues, Harmonica Blues
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPCs: 076732934227, 076732934241

Essential is right! The blues would be a very different, considerably tamer animal were it not for Little Walter. While the Chess roster in the '50s was littered with aces, only Muddy Waters scored on the charts with greater regularity. The reason? While the man born Marion Walter Jacobs possessed a serviceable voice and penned some worthy tracks, he was a towering virtuoso on the harmonica. Indeed, he remains the single most influential figure in the development of amplified harp as a lynchpin blues instrument. This handy two-disc set features 46 tracks cut between 1952 and 1963. Tracks such as the revolutionary "Juke," "Mellow Down Easy," "Key to the Highway," and "My Babe" have become roadhouse staples, but Little Walter's versions stand their ground over most and top all but a few. --Steven Stolder

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CD Reviews

Buy it for the booklet alone
S M | 06/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"First things first, for those of you that have the Chess two record/vinyl set called Big Boss Harmonica; the only difference is the records have 4 tracks not found on this cd. The sound of the cd is superb and 'friggin amazin' given that the track swere recorded in the early fifties to early sixties.It brings out the high end, essential to harmonica playing and the guitar/drum backup, that got lost when put on vinyl.You get rich driving harmonica playing that can be as raw as Sonny Boy Williamsom II (Rice Miller) and as Jazzy/Soulful as Toots Theilman, thus listening to the 46 tracks do not become repetitive.The enclosed booklet is a masterpiece, not only giving information on who played on the tracks and when they were recorded, but an in depth analysis of the feeling and style exhibited on each track (by Walter and the backup players), including an honest appraisal of Walters' playing in the few last tracks done for Chess showing a diminishing of his skills. Everything is here; terrific sound quality, terrific writing, all his hits and tracks that were not hits but of the highest musicianship and other tracks showing an honest critique of the man, that may not have been gems but show Walter was human and had his falicies.On a ten scale it gets a 9/10."
THE Harmonica player
Steven Sample | eureka, california United States | 06/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This collection is not only essential walter Jacobs, it is essentially the player who all who dare to make the harmonica a significant instrument is measured against. Like Charlie parker is to saxophone as Jimi hendrix is to guitar is Little Walter is to harmonica. There has been some greats that have come by such as Charlie Musslewhite or Rod Piazza to name a couple. But they cant pass walters ability to innovate. Technique is so much to be measured. ability is found and considered when a person gives himself to his art and that what he did. His use of rythm and deep swooping lines attack the center of the human emotions that captures the places that cannot be fathomed. The solo's on some of the pieces have the ears wondering if there is two harmonica players or maybe even a saxophone. His work is visionary somewhat like Mozart's is to me. He can move from a longing soul to a swaggering feel to a roller coaster ride and the back up band just follows. a few of his tunes crossed over to R&B charts to make it high on the charts. He is of course a Muddy Waters discovery and is right there with the Shapers of what IS the blueprint of all blues."
Raw, Gutbucket Blues Truth Poured Into A Harp
John Owens | Hirschberg-Leutershausen, Germany | 09/22/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The intro harp wail to "Blue Midnight" is SO DAMN INTENSE that it makes my hair stand on end and chills the hell out of me. An outstanding collection, gems all."