Barbara Dane (vcl), with Benny Carter (tp), Herbie Harper (tb), Plas Johnson (ts), Earl Hines (p), Leroy Vinnegar (b), Shelly Manne (d) / Kenny Whitson Quartet, feat. Kenny Whitson (cnt, p), Billy Strange (g), Wellman Braud (b), Earl Palmer (d)
Reference: FSRCD 781
Bar code: 8427328607810
Barbara Dane (1927) started her musical career in folk music and traditional jazz circles in the mid Forties, first in her native Detroit and then in San Francisco, where in 1954 she came into contact with some local jazz revivalists, including trombonist Bob Mielke and banjo player Dick Oxtot. During her high school years, she had received training as an operatic contralto, but Mielke and Oxtot encouraged her to probe further into the blues with their band, the Bearcats.
From the time she first stirred interest among aficionados and critics in San Francisco, she developed into virtually the only white singer of classic blues at the time. Both albums here, made in Los Angeles, where she moved to in 1958, show her in excellent company. On Livin with the Blues (1959), she belts out her message in an all-star group conducted by pianist Earl Hines. It is interesting to hear the splendid trumpet work of Benny Carter, Shelly Manne playing traditional drums, and Plas Johnson soloing to good effect in this context.
On My Way (1962) also presents a different side of Miss Danes expressiveness: a deep and fervent spirituality as fundamental as her blues. Her accompanying group included pianist and cornet player Kenny Whitson, whose performancesimultaneously in both instrumentsis astonishing, particularly on cornet. Barbara Dane is more than a singer, she is also a guitarist, passionately dedicated researcher, friend of forgotten pioneers, and sponsor of unpopular causes.
01. Livin with the Blues (McGhee-McGhee) 2:49
02. How Long, How Long Blues (Leroy Carr) 2:55
03. If I Could Be with You (Creamer-Johnson) 3:06
04. In the Evenin (When the Sun Goes Down) (Leroy Carr) 2:53
05. Bye Bye Blackbird (Dixon-Henderson) 2:25
06. A Hundred Years from Today (Young-Washington) 3:26
07. Mecca Flat Blues (Robinson-Blythe-Graham) 2:57
08. Why Dont You Do Right (McCoy) 2:42
09. Porgy (McHugh-Fields) 3:48
10. Since I Fell For You (Johnson) 2:43
11. Take It Slow and Easy (Jesse Fuller) 2:26
12. Im On My Way (adapt. Barbara Dane) 2:27
13. Draggin My Heart Around (Alexander Hill) 2:06
14. Crazy Blues (Bradford) 3:24
15. Goodby Daddy Goodby (Dane) 2:14
16. Cake Walking Babies from Home (Williams-Smith-Troy) 2:13
17. Wild Women Dont Have the Blues (adapt. Barbara Dane) 2:17
18. This Little Light of Mine (adapt. Barbara Dane) 3:01
19. Hurry Up Sundown Let Tomorrow Come (adapt. Barbara Dane) 3:25
20. Good Old Wagon (adapt. Barbara Dane) 3:23
21. The Hammer Song (adapt. Barbara Dane) 3:05
22. Mama Dont Allow No Twistin (adapt. Barbara Dane) 2:19
Tracks #1-10, from the album "Livin' with the Blues" (DOT DLP 25177)
Tracks #11-22, from the album "On My Way" (Capitol ST-1758)
Barbara Dane sings in all tracks accompanied by
Personnel on "Livin with the Blues":
Earl 'Fatha' Hines and his Orchestra
Benny Carter (tp); Herbie Harper, John Halliburton out on #1 and 8 (tb); Plas Johnson (ts); Earl Hines (p, arr); Leroy Vinnegar (b); Shelly Manne (d).
Recorded at Master Recorders, Hollywood, January 9 (#1 & 8) & 12, 1959
Personnel on On My Way:
Kenny Whitson Quartet
Kenny Whitson (cnt, tp); Wellman Braud (b); Billy Strange (g); Jesse Sailes or Earl Palmer #12, 18 & 20 (d). On tracks #12 & 18, The Andrews Sisters of Berkeley, and Rocco Wilson, conga, added. On track #20, Ray Johnson, piano, added.
Recorded at Capitol Studios, Hollywood, April 23 (#11, 13, 15, 17, 21), 24 (#14, 16, 22), 25 (#19), 26 (#20) & 28 (#12, 18), 1962
Original recordings produced by Tom Mack (#1-10) and Kermit Walter (#11-22)
Original cover photos by George Jerman
This CD release produced by Jordi Pujol
Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
"Barbara Dane had quite a varied career, putting out material from gospel to folk, but her blues albums here on this single disc will surprise you. She sounds amazingly comfortable in the genre; of course, having Earl Fatha Hines orchestra with Benny Carter, Plas Johnson, Leroy Vinnegar and Shelly Manne sure doesnt hurt! She reaches for all shes got, and shes got plenty, on takes of How Long, How Long Blues and Mecca Flat Blues that would even impress Big Joe Turner. When she teams up with Kenny Whitsons Quartet in 1960, she sounds like she grew up during a church revival on believable takes on This Little Light of Mine The Hammer Song and Im On My Way. Get me to the church on time! This disc is a pleasant surprise-check it out!"
George W. Harris (July 29, 2013)