Thursday, August 13, 2020

VA - Jazz Noire, Darktown Sleaze From The Mean Streets Of 1940s L.A. [2011]+ Jazz Noire, Drink Up, Light Up! Tales Of Dope, Booze & Sleaze [2012] (4 x CDs)


VA - Jazz Noire, Darktown Sleaze From The Mean Streets Of 1940s L.A. [2011]+ Jazz Noire, Drink Up, Light Up! Tales Of Dope, Booze & Sleaze [2012] (4 x CDs)

Fantastic Voyage has created a comprehensive, well-selected and obviously well-informed collection of late 40s jazz and R&B (in the old sense) of the type you might expect to hear in nightclub scenes in films noir. Appropriately enough, both discs are bookended by the theme music from classics of the genre. Some of the selections are very familiar - Monk's original recording of Round Midnight - while others are drawn from deeper wells, like Leo Parker's exquisite Solitude. The key point is - they're all excellent representations of their genres. After that, it's down to personal tastes. I prefer Billie Holiday in more sprightly mode, but lots of people love the tracks here which I find a bit too self-pitying, and the difference of opinion don't signify when it comes to assessing this excellent compilation.

Fantastic Voyage follows 2011 s hugely-successful Jazz Noire collection by letting the same team return to those sleazy dives and bars, this time homing in on the dope, drink and dubious characters to provide a vivid picture of high-seeking low life between the 1930s and 1950s. The music on Drink Up Light Up! evokes that time when orchestras swelled, brass sections exploded like fireworks and blues dripped off piano keys onto booze- and tear-stained barroom floors, staggering cast including names like the Reefer Man and Snuff Dippin Mama, but the themes are just as relevant to today s recession-hit climate: the desire to escape by getting high (and the often unfavorable repercussions on relationships).  The music on Drink Up - Light Up! Evokes that time when orchestras swelled, brass sections exploded like fireworks and blues dripped off piano keys onto booze- and tear-stained barroom floors, staggering cast including names like the Reefer Man and Snuff Dippin' Mama, but the themes are just as relevant to today's recession-hit climate: The desire to escape by getting high (and the often unfavorable repercussions on relationships). Whether it's Sam Price commanding 'Lead Me Daddy, Straight to the Bar', Buddy Banks confessing 'I Need It Bad (Groove Juice)' or the Four Clefs' getting philosophical on 'When I'm Low I Get High', the selection straddles the whole spectrum of substance-fueled whoopee, the up- and downsides. Springing out of Prohibition and the Depression, the set also provides a fascinating glimpse of street life during that period, up to the Korean War, from domestic scenarios to dope slang, quite apart from the providing a sublimely evocative listening experience.  (Amazon)

What a superb set of jazz music this is. There are also a few tracks I've not heard in a long, long while and it is good to have one's memory nicely jogged. If you like jazz, if you like film music, then this is the album for you.  A fantastic compilation of 1940's gems, beautifully crafted, perfect for late night listening. Special mention must also be made to the packaging and booklet that includes some great period artwork and graphics.






Track lists

Jazz Noire, Darktown Sleaze From The Mean Streets Of 1940s L.A.

01    Miklos Rozsa    Theme From ''The Killers''    2:42
02    Johnny Otis, His Drums & His Orchestra    Harlem Nocturne    3:04
03    Ella Fitzgerald    I'm Just a Lucky So-And-So    2:58
04    Buddy Johnson & His Orchestra    If I Ever Find You, Baby    2:16
05    Billie Holiday    Don't Explain    3:26
06    King Cole Trio    Blues in My Shower    2:55
07    Jimmy Witherspoon With Jay McShann & His Orchestra    Skid Row Blues    2:52
08    Dinah Washington With Dave Young & His Orchestra    You Satisfy    2:50
09    T - Bone Walker & His Guitar    Call it Stormy Monday    3:04
10    Baron Mingus & His Octet    This Subdues My Passion    2:55
11    Billie Holiday    No Good Man    3:09
12    Percy Mayfield With Monroe Tucker & His Orchestra    Leary Blues    2:59
13    Ella Johnson With Buddy Johnson & His Orchestra    You Can't Tell Who's Lovin' Who    3:19
14    Leo Parker's All Stars    Solitude    2:55
15    Alice Roberts With Dizzy Gillespie & His Orchestra    Good Dues Blues    3:03
16    Arthur Prysock With Buddy Johnson & His Orchestra    Serves Me Right    3:21
17    Etta Jones With Luther Henderson & His Orchestra    What Ev'ry Woman Knows    3:20
18    Amos Milburn    Money Hustlin' Woman    2:37
19    Helen Humes With Buck Clayton & His Orchestra    Blue and Sentimental    3:15
20    Dizzy Gillespie Sextet    All the Things You Are    2:49
21    Claude Trenier With Charles Mingus Sextette    Weird Nightmare    3:07
22    Wini Brown With Lionel Hampton & His Orchestra    Gone Again    2:54
23    Billy Eckstine & His Orchestra    Jelly Jelly    3:21
24    Thelonious Monk Quintet    Round About Midnight    3:13
25    Miklos Rozsa    Theme From ''Double Indemnity''    1:54

01    Adolph Deutsch    Theme from ''High Sierra''    2:08
02    King Cole Trio    Gee, Baby, Ain't I Good to You?    2:58
03    Dinah Washington With Lucky Thompson's All Stars    Pacific Coast Blues    2:42
04    Charles Brown Trio    How High the Moon    2:18
05    Buddy Johnson & His Orchestra    Far Cry    3:22
06    Julia Lee    Marijuana    3:15
07    Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five    Why'd You Do It, Baby?    3:22
08    Sarah Vaughan With Dizzy Gillespie & His Orchestra    Interlude    2:33
09    Lester Young & His Sextet    No Eyes Blues    3:02
10    Charlie Parker Quartet Feat. Earl Coleman    Dark Shadows    3:10
11    Billie Holiday With Eddie Heywood & His Trio    Billie's Blues    3:12
12    Arthur Prysock With Buddy Johnson & His Orchestra    I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone    3:00
13    Charlie Parker    Lover Man    3:22
14    Billy Eckstine & His Orchestra    Prisoner of Love    2:57
15    Ella Johnson With Buddy Johnson & His Orchestra    Since I Fell for You    3:18
16    Cab Calloway & His Orchestra    San Francisco Fan    3:24
17    Lionel Hampton & His Orchestra    Midnight Sun    3:20
18    Etta Jones With Jc Heard & His Orchestra    I Sold My Heart to the Junkman    2:51
19    Al Hibbler With Harry Carney's All    Stars - I Got it Bad (And That Ain't Good)    3:10
20    Billie Holiday    Good Morning Heartache    3:10
21    Illinois Jacquet & His All Stars    Goofin' Off    2:28
22    Wynonie ''Mr Blues'' Harris & His All Stars    Whiskey and Jelly-Roll Blues    3:11
23    Nellie Lutcher & Her Rhythm    Fine and Mellow    3:15
24    Crown Prince Waterford    La Blues    2:42
25    Alfred Newman    Theme from ''Cry Of The City''    5:37

Jazz Noire, Drink Up, Light Up! Tales Of Dope, Booze & Sleaze

01    Unknown    Wild Weed    2:39
02    Sarah Vaughan With John Kirby & His Orchestra    You Go to My Head    3:03
03    Four Clefs    When I'm Low, I Get High    3:09
04    Cab Calloway & His Orchestra    The Man From Harlem    3:02
05    Spo-Dee-O-Dee Sam Theard With Sam Price & His Texas Blusicians    Lead Me, Daddy, Straight to the Bar    2:56
06    Ink Spots    That Cat is High    2:51
07    Stuff Smith & His Onyx Club Boys    Here Comes the Man With the Jive    3:02
08    Cee Pee Johnson Band    The 'g' Man Got the 't' Man    3:10
09    Buddy Banks Sextette    I Need it Bad (Groove Juice)    2:41
10    Dinah Washington With Teddy Stewart Orchestra    Juice Head Man of Mine    2:44
11    Billy Valentine & His Orchestra    Beer Drinkin' Baby    2:40
12    Pearl Taylor With Howard McGhee Orchestra    Jive I Like    2:37
13    Ernie Andrews    Green Gin    2:13
14    Hot Lips Page Trio    Thirsty Mama Blues    3:18
15    Cats & the Fiddle    Killin' Jive    2:50
16    Harry 'the Hipster' Gibson    Who Put the Benzedrine in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine    3:07
17    Cab Calloway & His Orchestra    Reefer Man    2:55
18    Jack McVea    Wine-O    3:03
19    Charles Brown With Johnny Moore's Three Blazers    Snuff Dippin' Mama    2:45
20    Blue Lu Barker With Danny Barker Sextette    Buy Me Some Juice    2:29
21    Barney Bigard Sextet    Sweet Marijuana Brown    2:52
22    Buster Bennett Trio    Reefer Head Woman    2:48
23    Walter Brown With Jay McShann    Hootie's Ignorant Oil    2:44
24    Jo Jo Adams With Maxwell Davis & His Band    When I'm in My Tea    3:17
25    Eddie Vinson With Cootie Williams & His Orchestra    Juice Head Baby    3:09
26    Wardell Gray Quartet    Stoned    2:50
27    Unknown    Reefer Madness (A.K.A. Tell Your Children)    0:57

01    Dimitri Tiomkin    D.O.A. (1950 Film Intro)    1:58
02    Doc Wheeler    Who Threw the Whiskey in the Well?    3:07
03    Jay McShann    Bar Fly Blues    2:33
04    Bull Moose Jackson    I Know Who Threw the Whiskey in the Well!    2:46
05    Gene Phillips    Stinkin’ Drunk    3:02
06    Pee Wee Crayton    Win-O    2:19
07    Doc Pomus    My Good Pott    2:43
08    Mr Google Eyes    No Wine, No Women    2:29
09    Nelson Alexander    Drink Up - Light Up    2:32
10    Calvin Boze    Stinkin’ From Drinkin’    2:48
11    Dinah Washington    Joy Juice    2:51
12    Walter Brown    Sloppy Drunk    2:45
13    Helen Humes    Knockin’ Myself Out    2:27
14    Bull Moose Jackson    Sneaky Pete    2:54
15    Eddie Cleanhead Vinson    When I Get Drunk    2:45
16    Cootie Williams    I Should O’ Been Thinkin’ Instead of Drinkin’    2:45
17    Gene Honey Bear Sedric    Port Wine Blues    2:58
18    Little Willie Littlefield    Goofy Dust Blues    2:58
19    Jimmy McCracklin    Rock and Rye    2:53
20    Tom Archia    Whiskey Blues    2:39
21    Joe Liggins    Whiskey, Gin and Wine    2:36
22    Five Keys    Serve Another Round    2:35
23    Wynonie Harris)    Drinking Blues    2:46
24    Milt Buckner    Red, Red Wine    2:34
25    Earl Bostic    I Got Loaded    2:34
26    King Perry    Vaccinate Me, Baby    2:38
27    Maxwell Davis    D.O.A. (The Fisherman Sequence, 1950 Film)    2:50
28    Elmer Bernstein    The Man With the Golden Arm (1955 Film Intro)    4:59


  1. Hi BB,cool and look forward to the listen!
    Sorry to have read about the problems, you don't deserve it!
    Can't escape them anywhere these days it seems -
    Hoping all is well otherwise, and as always,
    appreciate what you share = Cheers!!

    1. Hi Coffee Messiah,
      Hope you enjoy these . Its a great listen.
      Dead links are becoming more frequent.

      Stay safe.


  2. Not my usual thing, but that's what makes it exciting! Thanks!

    And I hope the deletion trolls get bored and move on.

    1. Hi Gummo,
      They are not board my friend. Happening every day now. Even my self made comps are being deleted. :(
      Thanks for the kind thoughts.

  3. Jazzy! Love the art as well.
    Thanks BB

    1. Fantastic Voyage always do a great job. Enjoy.


  4. btw....Looking hard for some Willie Phoenix, especially his first album in 1982. Could never get enough of his song "No Signs Of Joanna"

    1. All I got.

      Willie Phoenix & The Soul Underground - Blues My Soul [2016]


  5. Many thanks BB...certainly some interesting tracks on this collection.

    1. You are welcome Bob Mac,
      The music on this comp is great. I have others but its a genre that is not always popular in large lots, so I will share them sparingly. Enjoy these.


  6. A superb offering, BB! Thanks and keep the faith!

    1. Thanks, slr in tx.

      I don't loose sleep over my offerings . You know, if A tornado came and wiped you out, you would always find a way to start again... I'll keep o keepin' on.


  7. Hey BB! You've done it again. Thanks for the tunes.

  8. Never seen the second comp before - many thanks Butterboy

  9. Hi BB, Looking thru your vast site in search of only songs from the 1940's decade. Not my specialty or expertise. So I turn to you, the expert. Are all of these songs strictly from that decade and if you can recommend any other compilation from then it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    1. Hi D,
      The above blurb suggest CD1 is from the 1940's, but I know CD2 suggests the tracks are 1930's and 1950's I.E Wynonie Harris – Drinking Blues (1952), Milt Buckner - Red, Red Wine (1951),King Perry - Vaccinate Me Baby(1953) to name a few.

      I would recommend Time Life Music's VA - Your Hit Parade 1940-1949. A great mix of Oldies, Traditional Pop, Jazz and Swing.


  10. Hi BB-
    Any chance of a re-up on this amazing set?
    Please and sa-lute!

    1. Hi Rick,
      New links established, tested and working.