194. Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five / Choo Choo Ch'Boogie (1999)
Choo Choo Ch'Boogie is another terrific compilation of golden era R&B from the ASV/Living Era imprint. Jordan was a versatile vocalist whose act ran the gamut from vaudeville to jump to gut-busting blues. His smooth delivery and expertise with turning a phrase took dancers from cutting figures on the floor to falling down laughing. He was also an altoist with a nimble technique whose reserve of power drew comparisons to Earl Bostic. The set is a good representation of his repertoire from 1940-1947. In crisp audio, it includes famous numbers like his own "Caldonia," "Five Guys Named Moe," or "Let The Good Times Roll." But the playlist also has novelties like the hilarious calypso with Ella Fitzgerald (both ex-Chick Webb), "Stone Cold in de Market" or "What's the Use of Getting Sober (When You're Gonna Get Drunk Again)?" No stranger to the drink whose wife Fleecie twice tried to kill him by stabbing, Jordan sings these with confidence! His blues are followed by his alto, with nary a breath between verse and chorus. "Ration Blues," "Somebody Done Changed The Lock on My Door" and "Ain't that Just Like a Woman," show Jordan working his charm with sly double meaning and steamy intent. Fans of early rock and roll or Chicago blues will appreciate Jordan's work, and this is a fine place to start. Babs Gonzales, Slim Gaillard, King Pleasure, all similar.