Sunday, June 26, 2005

Virtuosi

The Devil's Harmonica!

We don't seem to be able to google up much on "Shakey" Jake Harris; a pity, because this is some of the finest blues harp our ears have ever delighted in. Behold the stone cold stripped down bo diddley beat of Let Me Be Your Lover Man! Hear Harris trade licks with John Mayall in What a Fool!
Jake Harris - Let Me Be Your Lover Man
Jake Harris - What a Fool


String Wizard!

Back in the day, someone we knew referred to George Benson as being the the Hendrix of the 70s. A bit snarky, but if that was the case, certainly Chet Atkins was a contender for the title of Hendrix of the 50s. Though the picture on the record sleeve looks a bit staged, the liner notes (penned by none other than David Halberstam- then a a young reporter for the Nashville Tenneseean!) refers to Atkins' workshop:
The workshop itself resembles a small scale Cape Canaveral. In it is approximately $8000 worth of electronic and electrical equipment, much of it built by Atkins itself: a small maze of mixing panels, a three-channel stereo tape recorder, a one-channel recorder, a jack panel, a voltmeter, an audio generator, a distortion meter.
Chet Atkins - Lullaby of Birdland
Chet Atkins - Hot Mocking Bird



Laughter!

Imagine comedy that requires imagination and intelligence to appreciate. Jonathan Winters had a bolder side to his work that he kept somewhat hidden but well-nourished during his later years of commercial success. This early Verve LP puts him up there with Shelley Berman and a young Lenny Bruce as someone who was not afraid to venture further than one would think in pursuit of a laugh:
Jonathan Winters - Introduction/Commercials

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