## 3,4,6,7 - June 11, 1959; ## 2,5,8,9 - June 17, 1959;
## 1,10,11 June 19, 1959.
Although named after a former LP, this CD actually contains the complete contents of two albums (the other one was called Little Jimmy Rushing and the Big Brass) plus a brief previously unreleased number. Known for his renditions of swing-oriented blues, but also quite effective on ballads and jumping standards, the great singer is featured with a big band (which has solo space for many musicians, including tenors Buddy Tate and Coleman Hawkins, trumpeter Buck Clayton, and trombonist Dicky Wells) and a sextet with Tate, organist Sir Charles Thompson and pianist Ray Bryant. These were two of Rushing's better sets from the 1950s, and he is heard throughout the mostly veteran tunes in top form. Highlights include "I'm Coming Virginia," "Mister Five By Five," "When You're Smiling," "Good Rockin' Tonight" and "Russian Lullaby."
All Music Guide
========= from the cover ==========
To contradict a famous Durocher conclusion, nice guys don't always finish last. Jimmy Rushing, who broke into major-league jazz in Kansas City and had several successful seasons on Bill Basie's team, has just completed another wonderful year of singing. And to give you an idea what a year in the life of Mr. Rushing is like lately, he has won Down Beat's International Critic's Poll for the second year in a row as the top male singer in jazz, he has shouted the blues from Toronto to Chicago, knocked out the whole Ellington band when he sat in with them on the Ellington Jazz Party (CL1323), toured Europe with the Newport All Stars (his fourth tour of Europe in three years), and broke up four jazz festivals. And with all this exercise I don't think he's lost a pound.
Not that you need to be reminded, but it's nice to read again the comments printed in Down Beat about Jimmy and jazz festivals:
Newport: "When Jimmy Rushing joined the band (Ellington's) to shout more blues the critics and professionals were literally dancing in the aisles. This was the peak of the festival..."
Toronto: "While the caliber of performances was uniformly high, there were moments of show stopping excitement generated chiefly by Jimmy Rushing and the Newport Jazz Festival greats..."
French Lick: "Marion and Jimmy McPartland, Vic Dickenson, Pee Wee Russell, and Buck Clayton came on too, but they never really cut loose until they started backing Jimmy Rushing. Then things were swinging..."
Playboy Jazz Festival: "A great Ellington-Jimmy Rushing performance!"
Between Chicago's Blue Note and a concert hall in Copenhagen, Jimmy came in to make this album, and as usual he picked his favorite tunes of the moment and led the band himself. With him are Ray Bryant, piano; Jo Jones, drums; Skeeter Best, guitar; Gene Ramey, bass; Buddy late, tenor, and Sir Charles Thompson, organ. (Sir Charles, another Columbia artist, has just released his first organ album called Sir Charles and the. Swing Organ (CL 1364).
Jimmy opens his Lullabies with a blues he and Basie wrote called You Can't Run Around. It's his favorite slow tempo, with "fills" by guitar, organ, and tenor, and he cries, "If my pa don't want me/Cast me in the deep blue sea /So the whale and the fish/ Can make a fuss over me." Say You Don't Mean It is what Jimmy calls a "nice rockin' tempo" and here Buddy Ikte and Sir Charles take choruses between Rushing's lyric tenor.
'Deed I Do is Jimmy's "jumpin' beat," and he shouts his choruses, pointing to late and Sir Charles again for solos. Pink Champagne is one of the pop songs Jimmy has stored away in a memory that includes the gems of forty years. (He can tell you where he first heard every song he knows, who played in the band, and what has happened to most of the musicians since.) Did You Ever is a new blues by Jimmy, and there are some wonderful answers in the band all the way through. I Cried for You jumps again, with choruses by everybody.
Three Long Years opens Side 2 in Jimmy's blues tempo again, and Ray Bryant and Buddy Tate are featured. I Can't Believe That You're in Love with Me again features the Rushing ensemble one by one in a jumping mood. Good Rockin' Tonight gives Jimmy a chance to dance between vocal choruses while Skeeter, Sir Charles, Buddy, and Ray play, and he does. One Evening, another new one by Rushing, is again slow and easy. Finally, Russian Lullaby, as it might be reprised by someone who just crossed the border into non-Russian territory, jumps.
Listening again to these newest Rushing lullabies answers for me why Jimmy has the effect he does on musicians and audiences everywhere. Behind him, as he sings, the musicians see a man who begins to swing as he walks on stage, whose shoulders are rolling to a beat before he sets it, and whose smile can be seen from the rear. Out front where you and I watch, he pats his hands together when things are jumping, frowns a little for the blues, and then laughs when we like him.
I don't know about baseball, but in jazz this nice guy finished first.