Tuesday, March 19, 2013

add 0139

With his mix of rough and soft, hot and cool, T-Bone Walker was the prototype for electric guitar slingers everywhere, and while his generally urbane and decidedly jazz approach to playing often gets lost in theT-Bone legend, the fact remains that he was one sweet guitarist. This collection, which concentrates on his earliest 1946-1948 sides for Black & White Records, exhibits a solid case for Walker's historic placement in the lexicon of electric guitar, and although he seldom really cuts loose on these tracks, when he does, the sparks fly with elegant tension. For all his skill, Walker worked in a fairly narrow window, and hearing several of his songs in a row can make them all kind of melt and merge together, so casual listeners should be ready for that. But Walker rewards careful listening. Standing at the junction of blues, jazz and R&B, he brought a little something to all these genres, and with "Stormy Monday" (the original 1947 version is included here), he gave the world a bona fide classic.


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