Fine collection, though the title is slightly misleading
Docendo Discimus | Vita scholae | 07/29/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you didn't know any better, you would think that an album credited to "Albert King & Otis Rush" is some sort of collaboration between the two left-handed blues guitarists.
It's not, though. "Door To Door" is merely a collection of the few singles that King and Rush recorded during their short tenure with the Chess brothers in Chicago. It's still a good album, however, and I suppose this way of re-issuing King's eight and Rush's six singles is better than putting out two seperate CDs.
Albert King, the older of the two men, does a great T-Bone Walker on "Bad Luck" (excellent piano playing on that one, courtesy of "Little" Johnny Jones), and "Won't Be Hangin' Around" is one of his greatest slow blues. King also shines on the soulful, saxophone-driven "Searchin' For A Woman", and he does a very credible "Howlin' For My Darling" (originally written for Howlin' Wolf).
You should note that three of the six Otis Rush numbers are remakes of songs that he cut just a couple of years earlier with Cobra Records (not that they're not great), but this 1960 session also produced the original version of one of his best songs, the smouldering "So Many Roads, So Many Trains", which features what must be one of the greatest slow blues guitar solo of all time, as well as soulful blues piano playing by Lafayette Leake. ("Oddie" Payne is credited as Rush's drummer. It's "Odie". Like the dog!)
This is not an essential purchase perhaps (all the best songs can be found on other albums), but it is a very enjoyable collection of the few songs that these two excellent guitar players cut for the biggest blues label in town, and the quality of the material is high all the way through."
The Once Lost Chess Sides of Albert King and Otis Rush.
Perry Celestino | Tahmoor, NSW Australia | 07/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Most of us who lived in the Blues revival of the 1960s remember this landmark recording. The Blues was coming back and Chess Records, the original home of Chicago Blues, wanted their fair share of it! These recordings were in the Chess vault for ten years are would not have been released had it not been for the success of Albert King at Stax Records in Memphis.
King had recorded his set for this LP in East St. Louis and used them as a demo for Chess. They weren't really interested. Otis Rush, who has had the worst luck of any Bluesman with record deals, had come out of favour with no follow up to his massive hit "I Can't Quit You Baby" on Cobra Records. The label had gone under due the the underworld dealings of its owner. So he was looking around too.
The result was this landmark record. Two left-handed guitarists on one record! Albert King sounds as raw and basic as you will ever hear him. His tunes (maybe due to Jimmy Reed's influence) don't match the titles. I think that's cool. For example "Wild Woman", a template for "Crosscut Saw" never mentions the title; "Looking For A Woman" never explains what it is about- but its a Blind Lemon Jefferson takeoff on "Matchbox Blues" that King did right up until his death and the most famous tune on this CD; "Won't Be Hangin Round" ,is the first recorded version of his most famous lick: The stop-break bends in the first four bars of the progression-yeah! It also never articulates the song title! This is top blues!
The Otis Rush set is more diverse with remakes of several of his Cobra tunes. Most memorable would have to be "All Your Love", made famous as a cover version on John Mayall's Bluesbreakers LP. I always liked his slow tune "So Close", almost as pop, do-wop blues and the remake of the Cobra tune "I'm Satisfied" with its Gospel overtones. Fantastic!
This record has an interesting history. It was released as CD from Europe, first France in 1986 and then the Charly Label in 1987. They were withdrawn and Chess issued this remaster in 1990.It is now getting harder to locate so do yourself a favour and get a copy now!
Update: 2007 - There is now a new remaster of this classic album just released from Japan. There is also a new German version as well. It's great that this classic material will still be available for some time to come. "
Aspiring blues singers enter at your peril.
Jeffrey A. Hatcher | Honolulu, HI | 02/04/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There a singers and then there are SINGERS! Can you give an album 5 stars on the basis of one cut? "So Many Roads" is an absolute must! Otis' singing is truly stunning. Easily one of his best performances. Does the rest of the album deliver the same? No quite, but you only get to go to heaven sometimes. Otis is one of the few who can get you there. Try it the next time you think your coming down with a cold. Twelve bucks? No brainer."
Nice Interlude From Two Giants
BluesDuke | Las Vegas, Nevada | 07/07/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"You don't ordinarily associate either Albert King or Otis Rush with Chess, and with good reason: both men cut only a few sides each for the label during transitional phases of their careers, not counting the engaging ancient Parrot sides of Big Albert included here. More to the point, neither man was of the Chicago blues style as it's most commonly dilineated: King began as a gospel-drenched, rural-steeped jump bluesman with as much of what would become called soul as pure blues in his voice and guitar phrasing; Rush was one of the three kingpins of the West Side Chicago style (Buddy Guy and Magic Sam were the others), a far more rousing and showman-like blues style than the elders on the South Side had forged for Chess, and leaned as much upon Afro-Caribbean impulses as the rural root for his blues.But they are telling for what they show of each man. In Albert King's case, it's both a kind of winding up of his earlier jump phase (the reissue of his vintage early album "The Big Blues" should give you a pretty good, more complete overview of that style) and a quick beginning to the pure soul blues that would make him a major blues star a few years after cutting for Chess. In Otis Rush's case, it's a kind of marking time after the thrust of his earlier Cobra sides (his cutting of "All Your Love" for Chess is slightly different from the rippling, more overtly Latinesque version he cut for Cobra, which had such an influence on Eric Clapton among others) and before moving along to the fuller if somewhat inconsistent style with which he went as his career revived in the late 1960s/early 1970s blues revival.But it's far from throwaway music from either man, and you do get just enough dollops of each man's guitar style in there, both King's weighty, crying howl and Rush's spikily slinky phrasing. For Albert King's fans, especially, this album is a value, since there are not just helpings of his earlier style but a few hints here and there of what was to come when, in due enough course, he moved to Stax and graduated from benign presence to downright legend."
Door to Door? Heart to Heart!
Ricardo Neves Gonzalez | Petrópolis-R.J. Brazilemail@example.com | 07/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Another masterpiece of blues,this album is one of that for lovers,lovers that must feels to be near the paradise! This is sensational since the beginning until the end.It's impossible to be passive in front of this album.Monumental,one of the bests ever released yet!"