Interest in the blues is at an all time high today when you stop to think about it. Joe William’s blues shouting has put Count Basie back on top and Ray Charles is listened to and admired by musicians and Jon Q. Public alike. The best of the kid’s rock ‘n’ roll music is based on the blues while the current rage in jazz is ‘soul’ or ‘funk’ music.
The blues have always been around and they don’t really change much. We can hear that same intensity and power that made Bessie Smith so wonderful when Joe Turner sings today. Jimmy Yancey, Pinetop, Horace Silver and Ray Charles are all ‘soul brothers’ when it comes to blues piano. Johnny and Baby Dodds were blowing ‘funk’ on the South side of Chicago before Nat and Cannonball Adderly were born.
Of course each generation adds a new twist and thus enlarges the scope and variety of the blues. The Kansas City riff idea of Basie and Co. set the style for the 1930’s swing bands. Bird, Monk, and Diz enriched the harmonic patterns in the 40’s. In the last decade, the combination of elements of negro church music, blues, and so-called ‘hard bop’ has produced the ‘soul’ jazz of today.
In this collection, our purpose was to record a group of originals demonstrating the various directions the blues have taken over the years, from the simplest twelve-bar pattern to the 12/8 blues we hear today.
*These are the liner notes from the original release of this album in 1961