Jazz

Raymond Hill was the sax man who got a shout-out from Ike Turner for his solo on Rocket 88 – and the man who fathered Tina Turner’s first child. (more…)

Here’s a hard-rocking instrumental by a guitarist who must surely have been a major influence on Chuck Berry.
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Well this is pure filth. And the last thing you’d expect from a god-fearing gal raised in the church. But there you are: Dinah Washington was one of a kind. (more…)

Any appreciation of the roots of rock’n’roll has to include jump blues pianist and singer Floyd Dixon – the self-appointed “Mr Magnificent.” (more…)

Here’s another one of those proto-rock’n’roll tunes from another of those under-appreciated musicians of colour, this time from 1950 by Piney Brown. (more…)

This is another branch in the roots of rock’n’roll, and Johnny Otis was a key figure in many ways, but he may not actually play on this tune. (more…)

I’m not normally one for novelty songs but this one is different – perhaps because it’s almost 75 years old. I remember it featuring in the film Thank You For Smoking and I know it’s been covered countless other times. (more…)

Louis Jordan was already the biggest black music star when he staked his claim for the first rock’n’roll song way back in 1945. (more…)

The exuberant brass motif that drives this swinging soul number sounds instantly familiar, perhaps because of the many lives this song has had since it was written by The Chi-Lites’ lead singer Eugene Record and Sonny Sanders.

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This may be the most extraordinary discovery I’ve stumbled upon.
It was recorded in 1963 but its psych-tinged blend of jazz, soul and blues is way ahead of its time. (more…)