Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying
Somebody Up There Digs Me
Mercury Records MG 20242
From the back cover: As anyone who has heard him ad living about his home town can tell you, Louis is a proud product of Brinkley, Arkansas, where, at the age of seven, he began his musical studies with his father in 1915. After playing with a local band in Hot Springs he moved to Philadelphia, joining the Charlie Gaines band there in 1930.
Most of his experience through the 1930's was earned with name bands around New York, including Kaiser Marshall's and Leroy Smith's. It was not until he joined the great band led by the diminutive and fondly-remembered drummer, the late Chick Webb, that he began to emerge as more than just an obscure saxophonist.
With Webb, Louis got a chance to take an occasional vocal. After two years with the band he decided the time had come to strike out on his own; in 1938 he formed a small combo and opened at the Elk's Rendezvous, a small but popular club in Harlem. The band, originally known as the Tympani Five, enjoyed a slow but steady rise to fame as Louis featured himself more and more in vocal blues and novelties. The blues, which he usually played and sang with wry, tongue-in-cheek approach, always remained his forte (no less than seven of the twelve numbers in this collection are based, in whole or in part, on the traditional twelve bar pattern).
What happened to Louis during the 1940's need hardly be repeated here. Climbing from one success to another, he established himself as the creator of hit after hit. His combo, occasionally augmented to full band size to fit the demands of theatre owners, became on of the country's most popular, as well as the most musical unit of its kind. Illness prevented Louis from working on his full-time schedule that could have been his since the early '50's, but as this, his first Mercury album clearly shows, he is now back in full force, personality and enthusiasm unquenched and now brought into clearer focus by brilliant modern recording techniques.
For his Mercury debut, in order to recreate his biggest hits to the fullest advantage, Louis was backed by an all-star band. Ernie Royal, who has worked with everyone from Ellington to Kenton, was on trumpet; Jimmy Cleveland on trombone; Budd Johnson on baritone and tenor; and Sam "The Man" Taylor on tenor sax; Erie Hayes on piano; Mickey Baker on guitar; Wendell Marshall, bass and Charlie Persip on drums. An expert arranger, Quincy Jones, was brought in to recreate and modernize some of the famed Jordan routines.
From Billboard - March 2, 1957: This disk contains some of the best sides by Jordan in a long time. Seven are blues, and tho some marred by an old-fashioned sense of comedy – which perhaps was suitable for stage presentation in years gone by – they, nevertheless, prove that Jordan and his group can deliver a driving, instrumental performance very much in the same groove as some of today's most commercial artists. As a commercial property Jordan must be rebuilt, and this is a good start. Tunes include his old hits, "Is You Is You Ain't Ma Baby," "I'm Gonna Move to The Outskirts Of Town," "Caldonia," etc.
Is You Is Or Is You Ain't Ma Baby
Early In The Morning
Choo Choo Ch Boogie
Knock Me A Kiss
Let The Good Times Roll
Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying
Beware Brother Beware
I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town
Salt Pork West Virginia
Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens