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Honkers & Bar Walkers, Vol. 2

Album: Honkers & Bar Walkers, Vol. 2
# Song Title   Time
1)    Pee Wee (Call of the Gators) - Willis "Gator" Jackson
2)    Return of B.O. Plenty - Morris Lane
3)    Gitchie Gitchie-Goomba - Morris Lane
4)    Joe's Beat - Morris Lane
5)    Blue Jeans - Morris Lane
6)    Benson Bounce - Panama Francis
7)    Darkness on the Delta - Panama Francis
8)    Bess's Blues - Panama Francis
9)    12:00 Jump - Panama Francis
10)    I Love Her - Bill Harvey (previously unreleased)
11)    Walk Right In - Bill Harvey
12)    Doll Baby - Charles Ferguson
13)    Bean Head - Charles Ferguson
14)    Hard Times - Charles Ferguson
15)    Big G - Charles Ferguson
16)    That's for Sure - Bobby Smith (previously unreleased)
17)    That's It - Charles Ferguson (previously unreleased)
18)    Low Lights - Charles Ferguson
19)    Hi Beam - Charles Ferguson
20)    I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good) - Charles Ferguson (previously unreleased)
21)    Rush Hour - King Curtis (previously unreleased)
22)    Dynamite at Midnite - King Curtis
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • A collection of saxophone players recorded 1950-1956 for the Apollo label.
  • This is part of Delmark's Apollo series.
  • Personnel: Bonita (vocals); Mickey Baker (guitar); Hilton Jefferson, Bobby Smith (alto saxophone); Count Red Hastings, Charles Ferguson, King Curtis, Willis "Gator" Jackson, Bill Harvey, Morris Lane (tenor saxophone); George James, Reuben Phillips (baritone saxophone); Bobby Rae Williams, Andrew "Fats" Ford, Andrew Ford, Shad Collins, Bobby Williams (trumpet); Michael Booty Wood, Booty Wood (trombone); Arnold James, Ernie Hayes, Dave Rivera (piano); Panama Francis (drums).
  • Liner Note Author: Bob Porter.
  • Recording information: 05/29/1950-11/26/1956.
  • Photographers: Frank Driggs; Chuck Stewart.
  • Unknown Contributor Roles: Michael Booty Wood; Robert G. Koester.
  • Founded in 1944, New York-based Apollo Records was home for a time to an impressive roster of artists, including saxophonists Coleman Hawkins, Arnett Cobb, and Illinois Jacquet. Honkers & Bar Walkers, Vol. 2, a compilation of meat-and-potatoes blues, blues-based swing, R&B, and some early rock & roll, is one of a series of reissues by Delmark of material from the Apollo archives. This volume focuses on some of Apollo's other sax players and sax-based bands and combos. Sequenced chronologically, the set presents rare and previously unreleased sides from eight sessions recorded between 1950 and 1956, opening with Willis Jackson's "Call of the Gators" and concluding with King Curtis' "Dynamite at Midnite." The riffing and bumptious beats here can blur into an indistinct haze over the course of its 22 tracks, but taken individually, there are a number of fine performances. Highlights include an astonishing artistic and technical display from alto master Hilton Jefferson on the ballad "Darkness on the Delta" -- one of four tracks from drummer and bandleader Panama Francis; the unidentified baritone sax player with Bobby Smith on "That's for Sure"; and the prototypical yakety sax of King Curtis' "Rush Hour." There are also some interesting vocal choruses, notably the lugubrious moaning behind the unidentified bluesy tenor sax on "Hard Times" from Charlie Ferguson & His Orchestra. The hopelessly politically incorrect stereotyping on "Gitchie Gitchie Goomba," one of two tracks from Morris Lane & His Orchestra, is the only lame moment.
  • The compilation's documentation is helpful: Bob Porter's useful liner notes provide context and attempt to identify as many of the key performers as possible, and the track listings include session dates, master numbers, and take numbers. The remastering is also very good, bringing to life sounds that current players might be able to approximate but never replicate. ~ Jim Todd
Professional Reviews
Down Beat (7/92, p.47) - 3 Stars - Good

Living Blues (Sept.-Oct./92, p.75) - "..a stellar lineup of sax wailers...Sound quality is superb throughout...Although there's a jazz lineage to many of these tracks, the emphasis is on blistering sax.."
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