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Recorded At Blue Heaven Studios During Blues Masters at the Crossroads 2011!
200g Vinyl Cut By Kevin Gray & Pressed at Quality Record Pressings!
These direct-to-disc releases, recorded in the church sanctuary of Blue Heaven
Studios, are so fresh and pure…Talk about up to audiophile standards! The
immediacy, the dynamics - slam and delicacy alike - are just so startlingly
real. There's nothing lost. It's positively lifelike.
"Rock 'n' Roll saxophone pretty much begins with Big Jay McNeely. He's the
king of the honkin', squealin', bar walkin', flat-on-his-back Blowin' tenor men
— the Number One 'real gone guy' of the '50s." — Black & White Blues
Tenor saxophonist Cecil "Big Jay" McNeely has been "the king of the honkers" for
more than 60 years, and he's still blowing his horn like a man craving someone
he can't have. Born in Watts, California, in 1927, he formed his own band with
jazz legends Sonny Criss (alto saxophone) and Hampton Hawes (piano) while still
in high school. But in late 1948, when he was asked to record for Savoy Records,
he abandoned jazz for something more raucous and struck pay dirt when his second
release, a honked-up instrumental called "Deacon's Hop," went to No. 1 on the
national R&B charts in February 1949.
For the next several years, Big Jay, according to The New Rolling Stone
Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll, "was famed for his playing-on-his-back acrobatics
and his raw, hard-swinging playing."
In 1959 Big Jay enjoyed a huge hit with a blues ballad called "There Is
Something On Your Mind," featuring Haywood "Little Sonny" Warner on vocals. The
record stayed on the R&B charts for six months and reached as high as 44 on the
pop charts. The song was later a hit for Bobby Marchan and has been recorded by
B.B. King, Etta James, Freddy Fender, The Hollywood Flames, Gene Vincent, Albert
King and Professor Longhair among others.
In 2000 the Experience Music Project in Seattle installed a special Big Jay
McNeely exhibit that includes his original Conn saxophone; the Smithsonian
magazine put the horn on its June 2000 issue cover, along with Jimi Hendrix's
hat, Janis Joplin's feather boa and Eric Clapton's Stratocaster.
• From 2011 Direct To Disc Sessions
• 200g Vinyl
• Cut by Kevin Gray
• Pressed at Quality Record Pressings
• Recorded at Blue Heaven Studios
1. Country Boy
2. There Is Something On Your Mind (feat. Bobby Allen)
3. Party Time
1. Jay Opening
2. I Can't Stop Loving You
3. All That Wine Is Gone