This month we are going to feature music coming from just one re-issue label, Jasmine Records. This London based company started up in 1982 and by 1990 they were putting out their first CDs. They have re-issued a staggering amount of American music through the years with an emphasis on post war vintage sounds including classic country, soul, big band jazz, vocal pop, doo wop and most notably as far as our interests are concerned... blues, rhythm blues as well as primordial rock&roll.
While Jasmine has many compilation CDs in their inventory, this roundup features single artist re-issues. Their releases are distinguished by Jasmine’s first rate sound fidelity. The original artwork and liner notes display a care and reverence for the music being presented.
While other re-issue labels have tried to make a go of it and have fallen by the wayside in these dark days of streaming services and file sharing (stealing) Jasmine is forging ahead and doing so in grand style. These titles represent the latest offerings and some of my favorites from this label.
These can be found on Charlie’s Bluebeat Music website. As always by simply clicking on any of the CDs’ cover art you will be taken directly to that site. Thanks again to Charlie Lange for the product descriptions you see here.
- David Mac
Finally, one of the West Coast's most important and creative forces gets the definitive re-issue treatment here. While his early recordings for Modern have been expertly re-issued by Ace and P-vine, this collection concentrates on his Chess, Checker, Mercury and Peacock recordings as well as the best Imperial LP releases. His Chess LP from 1959 is beefed up with bonus tracks and his Peacock recordings, which have been hard to find on CD for a while, include seven previously unissued sides. The Imperial LP is a collection of early hard blues sides he cut for Irma, Geddisons, Art Tone and the Premium labels as well his first sides for Imperial. This two disc 58 track release is it.
This two CD 45 track set features the A and B sides of all his releases between 1947 and 1961 and brings together all of his singles for the Peacock and Aladdin labels in one collection. Despite receiving very little chart success, many of his singles were highly original and are now so famous it becomes difficult to understand why. Boogie Uproar, Okie Dokie Stomp, Gate Walks To Board and many others were staples for bar bands for years to come and were a huge influence over guitarists like Johnny Winter, Anson Funderburgh, Stevie Ray Vaughan and particularly, his brother, Jimmie Vaughan. Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown didn’t like to be called a bluesman, but whether he liked it or not, he was undeniably a major influence over the genre throughout his lifetime.
This collection of the earliest 45s from the Chexk, Veltone, Aladdin, Jody, Rhythm and Gedinsons labels of the fabulous blues and soul singer also contains the full content of the LP she released on Checker Records in 1962. The LP consisted of tracks recorded for the famed Bay Area producer and writer, Bob Geddins. Sugar Pie DeSanto became a popular performer in the UK and across Europe and the photographs from some of those tours are featured on the cover of this superb set.
LaVern Baker was one of the true divas of the mid '50s rock & roll circuit. Her statuesque figure and charismatic persona, plus her brashly seductive vocal delivery, made LaVern a true star. This wonderful set includes all of her singles from 1953 to 1959 and features the classic hits Jim Dandy, Tweedle Dee and I Cried A Tear along with many other memorable numbers. Her unique vocals were a major influence over the next generation of soul performers. This set includes full sleeve notes and chart history to complete the package.
Arthur Alexander was one of the catalytic figures in the birth of Muscle Shoals as a musical hotbed. You Better Move On was the first national hit recorded at Rick Hall's Fame Studios in late 1961. A profound influence on the early 1960s Beat Boom/British Invasion, Alexander's songs have been recorded by artists like The Beatles (who recorded three of his songs), The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ike and Tina Turner, Dusty Springfield, Ry Cooder and many more. This compilation includes all his early recordings for the Dot label in 1961-1962, plus his rare debut single Sally Sue Brown/The Girl That Radiates That Charm which has escaped digital re-issue up until now. Alexander died unexpectedly in 1993 on the verge of a major comeback, at the age of just 53, which led to a massive revival of interest in his early recordings.
Jay Hawkins was one of the most unique and original artists of the Rock 'n' Roll era, whose exclusive style and weird stage shtick made him an interesting cut above the rest. This two disc 40 song set covers the time period of 1953-1958 and features hits like Baptize Me In Wine, Little Demon and his inimitable version of I Put a Spell On You plus several hilarious treatments of well known standards. This is the first time that so much of his early material has been on one package and contains all the A and B sides of his earliest releases.
Little Esther (Phillips) was certainly one of the greatest female vocalists in R&B, with a hit parade career that stretched from 1950, encompassed soul music in the '60s and disco in the '70s, and somewhere in between she built an enviable reputation as a jazz singer too. This 28 track release features vocal backings from Johnny Otis, The Robins and The Dominoes and covers her 1962 smash Release Me as well as some of the hard to find SAVOY sides. Also included are fully detailed liner notes covering her career.
The Falcons were one of the finest gospel soul groups of the early days of soul and a personal favorite here at Bluebeat Music. With such heavyweights as Wilson Pickett, Eddie Floyd and Sir Mack Rice, the group recorded raw screaming soul with an intensity similar to the 5 Royales. This set not only covers the recordings originally released by Relic many years ago, but also includes their later recordings for United Artists. This is a comprehensive re-issue with detailed liner notes and pictures. Highly recommended...
Digitally remastered two CD collection. Little Walter was without a doubt the most influential blues harmonica player of the 20th Century, and here for the first time in one collection are the A and B sides of every single he released from his debut in 1952 to 1960. This is chock full of iconic hits, which have been recorded countless times since by beat and blues groups from the 1960s until today. These recordings from Little Walter, along with a handful of other artists, undoubtedly helped to reshape popular music during the 1960s. Fully detailed liner notes chart his entire career and his influences.
This unique compilation presents the very best of Turner’s recordings between 1955-1962, for a half dozen different US record labels including Wing, Atlantic, King, Glover, Jamie and Enjoy. Included are his U.S. hits The Return Of Stagloee, We Told You Not To Marry and Sound Off (Duckworth Chant) as well as the title track Taking Care Of Business, which was hugely popular. Also included are his original versions of songs like All Around The World, Big John, Get On The Right Track Baby, People Sure Act Funny and Soulville, which became hits for Little Willie John, The Shirelles, Ray Charles, Arthur Conley and Dinah Washington respectively. Several of these sides are serious collector's rarities, unavailable elsewhere on CD.