In Fine Shape...
Jeff Lisowski | DC Metro Area | 12/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Louis Jordan was on the Mercury label during this time. Quincy Jones was brought in to arrange and conduct. What a hit they had. The track list is mainly his hits from the previous decade, but most if not all are souped up wailing renditions. The horn arrangements are sharp, tight and fresh. The rhythm section is perfect and Jordan's vocal delivery is flawless.
There are a couple tunes that personally don't compare to the originals. "Saturday Night Fish Fry" is one, the longer version from 1949 is better. But songs like "Big Bess" and "Ella Mae" are new and tight.
Essential listening if you're a fan of early R&B or Rock & Roll!"
Great 50s comeback recordings with Jordan still swinging!
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 03/13/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although Jordan really made his fame in the 30's and 40's, this collection of 21 tracks recorded in '56 and '57 shows him to be swinging right along. As the liner notes point out, Mercury was hoping for a come-back hit with Jordan and spared little expense in producing these sessions. The backing orchestra includes many luminaries (e.g., Jimmy Cleveland, Ernie Royal, Mickey "Guitar" Baker), and the whole proceeding was arranged and conducted by Quincy Jones.
The titles reprise many of Jordan's big hits ("Caldonia", "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie"), as well newer tracks like "Rock Doc." The sounds range from blues and jump-blues, to swingtime rock 'n' roll (somewhat akin to what Bill Haley and the Comets were doing). Mickey "Guitar" Baker (of Mickey and Silvia "Love is Strange" fame) adds some really stinging guitar licks (making the cover of "Caldonia" worth the disc alone). The saxes honk and swing, and Jordan's up front with his vocals in fine shape; this was an artist still swinging and creating vital, timeless, rocking music."
The father of rock & roll
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 03/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After a brief and commercially unsuccessful stint at ALADDIN records, Louis Jordan moved on to MERCURY, where the full resources of that label were poured into generating some hits for him. Rerecordings of Jordan's 1940's DECCA sides, supervised by Quincy Jones, were made in late 1956. The product of these sessions was indeed rock & roll (thus this album's title). But as had happened at ALADDIN, X and VIK just two years earlier, lightning didn't strike twice for Louis-- sales of his newly polished oldies were less than what was hoped for. One last attempt to rekindle his career was made in August of '57, this time with a scaled-back band, but once again the records met with widespread indifference. Louis Jordan had officially become a casualty of the very music form he'd helped to create: ROCK & ROLL.
The 21 tracks on this German import CD are an excellent sampling of Louis Jordan's late 1950's sound. Transfer quality of source material is superb. Included are session dates and personnel, as well as a two-page bio. An album of excellence that will please any Jordan fan, as well as those who enjoy early rock & roll.
TOTAL RUNNING TIME -- 57:51"