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Black And Blue/Tobacco Road

15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 16, 2006
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Black And Blue/Tobacco Road + Stormy Monday + Live!
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Editorial Reviews

These LPs from '62 and '63 comprise the complete works of Lou with Onzy Matthews' Orchestra. This was a match made in soul-jazz heaven, with Groove Holmes, Teddy Edwards and others here as Lou sings Roll 'Em Pete; St. James Infirmary; Trouble in Mind; Strange Fruit; Summertime ; non-LP bonus cuts 24 tracks!

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 16, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Note
  • ASIN: B000FA57NU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,473 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By B. J. Lane on August 5, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Adding this CD reissue of "Black and Blue" and "Tobacco Road" from 1963-64 was a no-brainer, for this was the first time I'd had a chance to hear two of the greatest albums Lou Rawls has ever recorded.

It was a treat to hear Lou do justice to some of the greatest jazz and blues classics ever written, brilliantly arranged by Onzy Matthews and played by a smokin' hot big band made up of A-list musician talent. The liner notes were very informative and gave insight of the creation of each album.

Judging by the fantastic arranging and conducting on these two albums, I cannot believe that Mr. Matthews' career did not take the more successful turn of other arrangers of that period. As for Lou, thank God that his early work is finally in circulation for all to enjoy...why wait until after his death for this to happen?
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. Ramsdell on July 5, 2006
Format: Audio CD
It's very hard for me to be objective about these two recordings by Lou Rawls and Onzy Matthews. I wore out my vinyl long, long ago and have been waiting for the CD issue of these records for 20 years. FINALLY! Great and creative big band writing by Onzy Matthews....The arrangements never get in Lou's way and such mature singing for a young guy. Lou's in great voice, the selection of material is first rate and the writing and playing top notch. Enough with the cliches........buy it..at two for the price of one!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Dr.D.Treharne on May 22, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This CD comprises of two albums recorded in 1962 & 1963, with two tracks, numbers 7 & 24 as bonus tracks. Arrangements on both albums were by Onzy Matthews, with a whole slew of hand picked session players to perform them.On both sets Lou Rawls displays imperious styling and phrasing, and his voice is distinctive and given lots of space in the arrangements. There is, however a distinct contrast between the choice of material on the two albums. The "Black and Blue" set contains a much better chosen range of songs, and the arrangements more in empathy with Rawls style. Stand out tracks are a version of "Every day I have the Blues", Count Basie's "Going to Chicago Blues" and an outstanding reading of Oscar Brown Junior's "World of Trouble". The bonus track would not have been out of place in the original programming. The "Tobacco Road" set starts with an excellent version of the title track, but the rest of the set is good without ever being outstanding, except for "Blues for a four string guitar" which is really quite weak. Throughout, Rawls does his best to impart something new to all of them, though he's not helped in places by the arrangements, where on the second album the guitar sound is weak. It's also difficult not to compare the version of "Georgia on my mind" with what Ray Charles was doing with it at about the same time in another place! The remastering is excellent throughout, mixed as it was from 3 track tapes. I welcome the re-release of these long deleted albums, but on reflection despite Rawls' valiant efforts elsewhere the "Black and Blue" set is the highlight of this CD.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Classic TV Fan on July 11, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Lou Rawls is one of the greatest singers of this era. I have several of his albums. But I rejoiced when I found songs not included on other CDs such as "Blues for a Four-String Guitar," "Stormy Weather," "Georgia on My Mind," and "Summertime" as well as some of his signature tunes like "Tobacco Road." Lou Rawls really makes the standards his own. This album is Lou Rawls at his best, and a must-have for any fan!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bykboi on May 7, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Black and Blue is about Lou Rawls' "pre-pop" days. Tobacco Road, maybe not so much. On the former CD, Onzy Matthews' arrangements are wonderful; a little lush and sometimes exciting. How can you dislike Joe Turner, Billie Holiday, and Louis Armstrong tunes paid tribute by a great vocalist like Lou Rawls and a great arranger? Not to mention the writers on some of these old 1930s and 40s songs.

The counterpoint of the darkest blues tunes like "Black & Blue," "Strange Fruit," the very storied "Gloomy Sunday" and "St. James' Infirmary" set against the modern jazz orchestra are quite appealing . . . to me at least. An odd but hot combination from that early 60s non-electronic period. "Roll 'em Pete" is a classic early R&B tune re-do in a clean Capitol Studio recording (as are both of these albums).

Tobacco Road is an enjoyable album but I feel its more pop nature is distracting aside the jazz & blues nature I loved in the Black and Blue sessions.

Overall, for the money, it's a great opportunity for young and old alike to hear some great old jazz tunes from the 30s and 40s revived (Black & Blue) and some fine 'old standards' and 50s-60s pop/folk (Tobacco Road) performed by a terrific vocal artist showing off his chops, working with a great arranger & musicians behind them. Good on Nick Venet for bringing them all together.

I recommend this CD for its general excellence as a jazz/blues recording from that period and for "big band" lovers too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Justo Roteta on March 11, 2014
Format: Audio CD
During the 1960s, the late, truly great and much-missed Lou Rawls was signed to Capitol Records where he was originally marketed and promoted as a Blues and Jazz singer with varying degrees of commercial success during his tenure with the legendary label. These two albums were among his most successful for Capitol and both prove that he was a singer who could convincingly sing different musical genres even when the material given him was not always great. If you are either a fan of or are only familiar with Lou Rawls' Philadelphia International recordings of the 1970s and '80s then this CD will probably be an acquired taste and one you will probably listen to attentively before you really like it as its material is certainly different from Lou's subsequent albums. Enjoy!
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