Search Manic Mark's Blog

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Walkin' - Buddy Johnson


You're Everything My Heart Desires

You'd Better Believe Me

Buddy Johnson
Mercury Records MG 20322

From the back cover: Woodrow Wilson "Buddy" Johnson has been successfully leading a big band all through these years of lamentations and dour analyses in then band field. The decline of the bands didn't hit Buddy as hard as it did other large payroll-teeters, because Buddy was selling a commodity that life and the world being what they are, is never out of demand. Buddy's bands have always essentially and powerfully been blues. But the blues of whatever kind rides through nearly everything in his book. Buddy's continuing fortune is also due to his recognition of the fact that travel not only broadens one, but pays the bills. Buddy's is a road band, and is particularly conversant with the highways and not-so-highways of the South, although he has also been a familiar at times through the years at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem as well.

Buddy was born in Darlington, South Carolina, January 10, 1915, and begun to work around New York in the later '30s. He was in Europe with the Cotton Club Revue in 1937 as pianist with a washboard band called the "Tramp Band." Buddy began to record in 1939, and has been recording and working steadily since. He is often classed as a rhythm and blues performer, but his jazz credentials are sufficient to win him entrance to both Leonard Feather's Encyclopedia Of Jazz and Hugues Panassie's Guide To Jazz, books which otherwise agree on little else. Observes Panassie: "Buddy Johnson is an excellent pianist who can play as well in the style of Earl Hines as in the 'blocked chords' of Milton Buckner. His band has never contained any stars but is made up of young musicians who really know how to swing; it has real punch and hard, sharp accent on the beat somewhat in Lionel Hampton's style." And Feathers adds: "His big band records, especially those with vocals featuring his sister Ella are outstanding for their unique beat and for the melodic variety Johnson's arrangements attain within a narrow blues framework."

Rockin' Time
They Don't Want Me To Rock No More
There's No One Like You
Ain't Cha Got Me (Where You Want Me)
Buddy's Boogie
Oh! Baby Don't You Know 
You'd Better Believe Me
You're Everything My Heart Desires
So Good
Bitter Sweet 
Gone Walkin'

No comments:

Post a Comment

Howdy! Thanks for leaving your thoughts!