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UPC - 660652903427
Memphis Slim - Blue This Evening

Release Date - Jun, 2001

Pineton'S Blues - 3.01
Blue This Evening - 6.1
Caught The Old Coon At Last - 3.27
We'Re Just Two Of The Same Old Kind - 2.57
Don'T Think You'Re Smart - 2.4
I'M Going To Kansas City - 2.04
Got A Little Old Mamma - 4.57
Rock Me Baby - 4.11
In The Evening - 4.12
Memphis Slim, U.S.A. - 1.53
Chicago Boogie - 2.49
Sad And Lonesome - 3.38
Memphis Woman - 4.17
Bertha Mae - 4.21
Aint Nobody's Business - 2.21
I Love You More And More - 2.42
Frisco Bay Blues - 2.38
Slow And Easy - 4.5
I Believe I'Ll Settle Down - 5
Darling I Miss You - 5
Roll'N Tumble - 10.58

Of the blues artists that have gained worldwide acclaim and an international audience Memphis Slim was undoubtedly one of the most prolific. He was of the generation of blues men who were born during the first World War and who reached maturity as artists during and after the second World War. They were performers whose careers coincided with the technical advances of the recording industry, including the advent of the long-playing record, and with the great increase in mass media of communication and entertainment. Memphis Slim was pre-eminent among the blues singers who were able to meet the demands of the new media, and was one of the small handful of entertainers with a personality sufficiently extrovert to be able to settle in an alien country and on a different continent. It takes an exceptional man to extend himself in the way that Memphis Slim succeeded in doing. The succession of events that takes a talented youngster from the slums to the footlights is far from uncommon - at times it seems even obligatory - in show business. But in the blues it is somewhat different for such a progression demands of the performer the ability to preserve his integrity as a creative folk artist whilst meeting the demands of the entertainment industry. It is a sobering thought that Memphis Slim, no stranger to television, probably brought the blues to more people through these appearances than he did in his whole career of playing in the clubs and joints of Memphis and Chicago. This too, under circumstances which would be inhibiting for the majority of blues exponents for whom the personal contact with their audiences is all important in establishing the rapport in which they delight. Memphis Slim, uniquely, succeeded not only in performing with success in concert, on radio and television but positively thrived in this ambiance. In such circumstances one would expect a marked change in personality, and it is to Slim's credit - as well as the secret of his success - that he remained essentially the same man as the singer who worked at Ruby Gatewood's a score of years ago. He was then however, a little different from his fellows, a little more worldly, a shade sharper and perhaps quicker-witted than many. He had mastered a difficult background and tough circumstances in Memphis and later in the North to become something of an impresario amongst blues artists. His capacity to secure work for himself and others, to make friends and to project easily across the invisible barriers of race and culture stood him in good stead in later years and incidentally did much to promote understanding and appreciation of the blues in two continents. The blues "packages" which featured artists from various sources in the United States owed much to the resourcefulness and the association of Memphis Slim. Memphis Slim brought the blues to audiences who would otherwise have had far less chance of hearing the music created in person whilst he has maintained contact with its sources. Blues men are often used to travelling widely - many are rootless "ramblers" who enjoy working short spells in various cities before moving on to new locations - but few more far from the environments with which they are familiar. This Memphis Slim did with ease and assurance and he met the exacting demands of concert tours, Blues Festivals, broadcasts and telecasts with equanimity and good humour. Such occasions are intimidating for the blues singer accustomed to a country juke rather than a vast auditorium and though some rise supremely to the occasions, others appear at less than their best in unfamiliar surroundings. Without doubt the weaknesses in ability, the limitations of repertoire and inventiveness, the lack of personality or of confidence are mercilessly revealed under these circumstances but Slim, who matched poise with originality was undeterred. As he dragged his long limbs across the concert platform and lowered himself on to the piano stool he gave the impression of a man for whom even the effort of walking was unwelcome. He would sit at the piano and turn to the audience with a wry grin as his legs, unable to get beneath the keyboard, entwined rather awkwardly around the piano stool. The curious pantomime was oddly arresting as with an uncertainty which was no way shared by the pianist himself, the audience watched and waited for him to play. He would place his huge hands on the keys, masking it seems, an octave with each and would utter, in a somewhat tired voice a few words about the blues he was to play. Then suddenly he was galvanized into action; his nimble fingers rolled out a bass figure and in a descending cascade of notes his right hand lead into a fast blues. Pinetop's Blues leaves us in no doubt that Slim was one of the truly great exponents of the classic Boogie style. With his eyes half shut and the white blaze across his head catching the lights he would turn to the audience and begin the holler: loud, declamatory blues verses. Blues This Evening, Caught The Old Coon and Leroy Carr's In The Evening, remind us that there was no end to the blues that Memphis Slim could create. Like any blues singer he drew heavily from his experience, his songs being chapters of his autobiography. He sang frequently of the women he knew and loved, sometimes with humour, sometimes with regret (Caught The Old Coon, Little Old Mama and Rock Me Baby) and often too, of the places he has known and visited as in Frisco Bay Blues. Effectively, Memphis Slim points up the poignancy of the one blues by placing it in juxtaposition with another of very different mood, permitting the one to flow into the other without the customary break. Customary, that is, on disc but not so in the places where he used to play at the time when the original events occurred. The three minute record imposed its own severe limitations on the blues, forcing the characteristic length of a blues composition to fit the standardized duration of the ten-inch phonographic disc. The long-playing record should have freed singers of this arbitrary restriction but Memphis Slim was one of the few blues artists who realized and explored this potential. In this respect the three blues entitled Little Old Mama, Rock Me Baby and In The Evening and likewise I Believe, Darling I Miss You and Roll n' Tumble which are incorporated in one continuous composition are a rare instance of a full use of the extended medium. With its many other verses and comments and with its piano solos and interchange with Alexis Korner's guitar it is rare cante fable of the blues. It shows Memphis Slim's unusual capacity to perceive and to use the fullest potential of a medium and is incidentally, a clue to his success where others have been wanting in bringing the blues to the new media. - Paul Oliver 1. Pineton's Blues 2. Blue This Evening 3. Caught The Old Coon At Last 4. We're Just Two Of The Same Old Kind 5. Don't Think You're Smart 6. I'm Going To Kansas City 7. Got A Little Old Mama 8. Rock Me Baby 9. In The Evening 10. Memphis Slim, U.S.A. 11. Chicago Boogie 12. Sad And Lonesome. 13. Memphis Woman 14. Bertha Mae 15. Ain't Nobody's Business 16. I Love You More And More 17. Frisco Bay Blues 18. Slow And Easy 19. I Believe I'll Settle Down MEMPHIS SLIM (Piano, Vocal) ALEXIS KORNER (Guitar) STAN GREIG (Drums)

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