Al V. (Al) from HOOVER, AL Reviewed on 12/29/2006...
Here's one of the all-time great "honking" sax guys. These are all cuts from the late 500's and early 60's made during sessions for Swingin' Records. There's some of the great playing, and some rock n'roll...but there's also a really swinging version of Flying Home... that was never released. Some good R & B here.
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Who needs Joel Whitburn books to determine what is good?
Michael E. Keough | Easthampton, MA United States | 02/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great CD and you don't need bury your face in some stupid Joel Whitburn book to figure that out.
Just use your ears.
Covers that transitional period so the songs range from jump to jazz, but then again genre labels are about as irrelevant as the trade charts."
Great boppers, jivers and strollers
rocker88 | Belmont Shore, CA | 07/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great dance album with plenty boppers, jivers and strollers. If you like to jive get this cd and any other 50's McNeely or Joe Houston. A great uptempo cd full of great songs and honking saxaphone. Pre pleasurable r&b."
The Original Contortionist Saxophonist
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When Rudy Pompilli of Haley's Comets began regaling audiences with his on-stage acrobatics while blowing his sax in the mid-Fifties, many others soon began to follow suit. But the guy who really started it all was Big Jay McNeely. He just didn't have the exposure that Haley's Comets did.
Born Cecil McNeely on April 29, 1927 in L.A., he and his tenor sax were first heard on the small Exclusive label beginning in 1946, but it was three years before he found his first hit for Savoy. Unfortunately Deacon's Hop, an instrumental that went to # 1 R&B early that year as by Big Jay McNeely's Blue Jays, b/w Artie's Jump, is not in this compilation. Or any of the other McNeely CDs currently offered. It can, however, be found on the great CD Early Rhythm & Blues along with 24 other jumping, wailing classics.
In fact, the only charted hit that can be found in this particular album, is 1959's There Is Something On Your Mind which he recorded for the Swingin' label as Big Jay McNeely and Band featuring vocalist Haywood "Little Sonny" Warner. A # 5 R&B hit, it was also his only Pop charter, peaking at # 44 Billboard Hot 100 in July. The flipside was Back ... Shack ... Track. A year later Bobby Marchan would take the A-side to # 1 R&B/# 31 Hot 100 under the title There's Something On Your Mind, Parts 1 and 2 (Part 2 was the hit side).
Also apparently not to be found anywhere is another 1949 Savoy instrumental, Wild Wig, which topped out at # 12 R&B in March 1949 billed to Big Jay McNeely And His Blue Jays. Even so, and while it may be frustrating for collectors of hit singles like me, this particular CD is well worth a listen as the songs that are included were regular features of his swinging coarsed-tone stage style."