Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Playing with the Strings
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop
From the 1920s to the 1960s, guitarist Lonnie Johnson broke new ground for jazz and blues guitar, performing stunning displays of six-string virtuosity on recordings with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Kid Ory, and on nu... more »
Listen to Samples
From the 1920s to the 1960s, guitarist Lonnie Johnson broke new ground for jazz and blues guitar, performing stunning displays of six-string virtuosity on recordings with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Kid Ory, and on numerous solo efforts. But, perhaps because he was so versatile--jumping between hundreds of Delta blues and hot-jazz studio sessions--he's never received his due accolades for being one of the great guitar pioneers. Playing with the Strings captures Johnson's earliest output, from the 1925 recordings with Charlton Creath's Jazz-O-Maniacs to the stunning 1932 solo 78 he recorded featuring "I'm Nuts About That Gal" and "Racketeers Blues." JSP's compilation shows how, in just seven years, Johnson went from playing in Louis Armstrong's Hot Five to working with Duke Ellington to performing in one of the first interracial studio sessions with Eddie Lang, King Oliver, and Hoagy Carmichael (all performing as Blind Willie Dunn's Gin Bottle Four). Throughout, Johnson is in top form on guitar, picking single-note lines in a fashion that would anticipate future jazz guitar sounds. We can hear Johnson playing other instruments, too--kazoo, violin, and banjo--but his guitar mastery steals the show. JSP's transfers of these old 78s are at times spotty, but it's still a great collection of classic tunes. --Jason Verlinde
Lawrence Cohn | 08/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A great compilation of one of the greatest
blues/jazz guitarists and blues singers.
If you have even the remotest interest in
these genres, this collection assuredly
ranks in the top-10 of "must-haves!""