Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Skip James - The Complete Early Recordings of Skip James - 1930.

The Complete Early Recordings CD showcases a true guitar virtuoso who was no slouch on the piano either. His break on "Illinois Blues" is almost off-putting in the nonchalance with which he twists the notes around, and "How Long 'Buck'" features him giving forth some funky piano in an almost playful manner. This is a remastered edition of an earlier Yazoo collection, and features the same 18 songs that appeared on Document's Complete Recorded Works, but the sound quality is still a problem at times. High-quality sources for "What Am I to Do Blues," "4 O'Clock Blues," and several other of the numbers here are simply not known to exist, but these are the best-known editions of the songs until better 78 discs happen to turn up (if ever). Regardless of the surface noise, it is a delight listening to James' rippling guitar run on "4 O'Clock Blues" or his piano improvising (and improvising the percussion by pounding away with his feet) on "20-20 Blues." And his fiercely intense original rendition of "I'm So Glad" makes the repopularized version by Eric Clapton and Cream from the 1960s seem like easygoing pop. Actually, James' vocals tend to suffer under the weight of the surface defects far more than his playing -- the source discs distort on high-volume passages, which mostly occurs with his singing rather than his playing. Therefore, fans of blues guitar or piano need have no hesitation in picking this disc up. The Complete Early Recordings

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mp3 320 kbps - 71 Mb

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