Think five discs and 131 songs is too much Louis Jordan? Not a chance. Not for a man who so consistently and so definitively achieved the elusive and delicate combination of musicianship and accessibility. Not for a man who paved new and vital musical roads without ever losing his sense of style or his appetite for fun. Covering Jordan's historic (not to mention commercially successful) Decca tenure (1938 to 1950), this amazing collection finds the alto sax player, songwriter, and singer building blues and swing into a hot mix that came to be known as R&B, producing hit after hit with topnotch bands behind him, streamlining the big-band concept without diminishing the music's force. Much has been made of his role in the development of R&B--and as a result, rock & roll--and his importance as a musical pioneer can't be underestimated. But all ideas about "historical importance" fade away as these vibrant, insistent, irresistible tracks roll by. --Marc Greilsamer
Over six hours of jivin' and hoodooin'! Remastered by renowned engineer John R.T. Davies, these 131 sides take us from 1938, when Louis was just formulating his act, all the way up to 1950, when he was the biggest star on the "race records" circuit. Along the way lie such all-time great tunes as Ration Blues; G. I. Jive; Caldonia Boogie; Buzz Me; Is You Is or Is You Ain't (Ma' Baby); My Baby Said Yes; Stone Cold Dead in the Market; Choo Choo Ch'Boogie; Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens; Open the Door, Richard; Baby, It's Cold Outside -in short, every hit Louis had, all dished up hot and chronological-like!