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Uptown Rhythm Kings (the)

Uptown Rhythm Kings (the) – Oooh-Wow!

Ripsaw Records 222 [1990]
Oooh-Wow / Something’s Going On In My Room / No Use Knockin’ / Tell Me Pretty Baby / Let Me Give You Lovin’ / House Rocker / Open Up The Back Door / Honey Baby / ‘Til I Say Well Done / Sad As A Man Can Be / I’m Gonna Have To Send You Back / Sittin’ On It All The Time

The Uptown Rhythm Kings was an 11-piece jump blues combo from Maryland. On this recording, they had a mighty horn section made of two tenor saxophones, two baritones, one trombone, and one trumpet. They recorded this album and released it on Ripsaw the following year. It kicks off with a cover of Roy Montrell, the perfect vehicle for Eric “Shoutin” Sheridan as is Open Up The Backdoor, their cover of the Midnighters. The piano player takes the lead vocals on a couple of numbers, which brings a New-Orleans feel, in the style of Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, and Lloyd Price.
One of the secret weapons of the band is their guitar player, Rusty Bogart, as demonstrates their cover of House Rocker, a BB Kings’ instrumental. He literally steals the show on Let Me Give You Lovin’ plays some tasty blues-jazz licks on ‘Til I Say Well Done and proves that he’s also at ease when it comes to playing in a Johnny Guitar Watson/T-Bone Walker vein (the fast-paced Sad As A Man Can Be.) There are even hints of Mambo here and there (I’m Gonna Have To Send You Back).

Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Oo-Bop-Sh’bam – Oo-Bop-Sh’bam

Oo Bop Records – oobopr 001

The Oo-Bop-Sh’out – Well Alright – Rock Rock Rock – Just Love Me Baby – Big Mamou – Be My Guest – Rooming House Boogie – Lillie Mae – Kindey Stew – Let ’Em Roll… For Big Joe – Flip Flop Fly – Wish You Were Mine – Braking Up The House – I Like To Bop

In the ’80s, England had a vast scene of small jazz, blues, jump and jive bands like The Chevalier Brothers, Howlin’ Wilf and the Vee-Jays, King Pleasure, Big Town Playboys, etc.

One of the best of these new bands was Rent Party. They were swinging and jumping like no other, and Jackson Sloan, their singer, had a voice tailor-made for this kind of stuff. After Rent Party, he played in the jazz fields, and he’s now back to his first love with Oo-Bop-Sh’bam, a combo of solid and experimented musicians.

Bass player Dave Lagnado has played for James Hunter, tenor sax player Andy Dummet has shared the stage with Solomon Burke and Otis Grand while the other saxman, Julien Greaves, has played with the Rolling Stones. Not to forget another ex-Rent Party, Alan Savage on drums who played with Hubert Sumlin, Paul Lamb, Joe Jackson and even Freddy Mercury. And as a special guest they have Ray Gelato who wrote the liner notes and blows in his sax on two tunes. You can now see that I didn’t use the word “experimented” lightly. Together they play a solid mix of blues, boogie-woogie and highly enjoyable rhythm & blues. Three songs are from the pen of Savage and Sloan (one together and one each.) The remaining eleven are covers of Smiley Lewis, Tiny Bradshaw, Amos Milburn, Fats Domino, and Big Joe Turner, who is not only covered but has a song dedicated to him (Let ’Em Roll, a nod to Roll ’Em Pete). It’s not a big surprise as Sloan has a deep and powerful voice close to the Boss of Blues. Roscoe Gordon’s Just Love My Baby allows Paul Garner to play great T-Bone Walker licks. Also remarkable is pianist work, in the background, but with a constant and driving presence on “Rooming House Boogie,” or in the foreground with a great demonstration of boogie-woogie on “Breaking Up The House.” For all the dancers, jivers, foot tapers, and lovers of juicy saxes and real blues voices, this one is for you!
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Stompy Jones (ex the Swing Session)

Stompy Jones – Stompy Jones

stompy jones

Jewel Records JR-0403
Oh Marie – Mary Had a Little Lamb – Whistle Stop – A Woman’s Intuition – Close Shave – Without You Here – You Can Depend on Me – That’s Earl, Brother – Mondine – That Wig’s Gotta Go – Boogie Woogie on a Saturday Night – Can’t Find My Baby – Rug Cutter’s Swing – Dream – Knock Me a Kiss – Juke Box Judy – Along the Navajo Trail

Stompy Jones is a sextet (bass, drums, piano, trumpet, saxophone and vocal) known formerly as The Swing Session, and even this cd is not exactly a new one (it’s been released in 2003).

What kind of stuff do they play? Imagine Louis Jordan’s Timpany Five playing a jam with Fletcher Henderson and Louis Prima as a guest. The “swing” is something not that easy to describe: you have it or you don’t. Saying this boys have it is an understatement, just listen to their rhythm section: subtle and efficient. From the second this album opens with “Oh Marie” (a song so much heard you thought it was hard to give it something new but they do) you’re hooked by “Pops” Walsh’s voice, bluesy and warm with a feeling that is very hard to find today.

They don’t just play this music right, they write it too. From the Jordanish «A Woman’s Intuition» to the humourous «That Wig’s Gotta Go» à la early Ray Charles and the beautiful instrumental ballad «Without You Here», Stompy Jones shows once again they have it. I could also mention «Can’t Find My Baby» a superb bluesy number with Pops litterally speaking with the muted trumpet, «Dream» originally a ballad given the Prima/Butera’s treatment and «Along The Navajo Trail» with its Roy Milton meets The Sons of The Pioneers style. And cherry on the pie, this record is wonderfully packaged with informative liner notes about each song. Make yourself a favour, go to and order it.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Stompy Jones – That’s Alright

Stompy Jones

Blowin’ To California – Don’t Lie To Me – Lost Mind – Born To Love Her – That’s Alright – Hot Sauce Boss – If You Love Me Baby – Wakin’ Up Baby – After Hours – Highway 99 – Hand Clappin’- Keep A Knockin’- Spiderweb – Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens

A decade or so ago, the swing craze took the USA by storm. All of sudden everybody and his cousin dressed like Jim Carrey in the Mask, discovered the sweet taste of martini and blew in a sax. But few bands played this music right and even fewer really understood it.

Stompy Jones (formerly known as The Swing Session) weren’t made of the same (young) wood. This guys have roots. They perfectly assimilated the elements of the small bands from the 30’s to the 50’s like Louis Jordan of course or Count Basie and have put the science of the arrangement to its highest point.

Buy when this album (their fourth) arrived, I was surprised to see that Pops the original singer of the band was no longer there (I later heard he had to quit due to health problems) and had some apprehensions about the newest one. Will he be as good as his predecessor? I only had one thing left to do : put the cd in the player. After a few bars of “Blowin’ To California”, the first song, my doubts quickly vanished. If different – and we didn’t expect a impersonnator, didn’t we? – the young was equally talented as his glorious elder. The band faced some minor changes too, but man they’re always incredibly tight and though they’re only six on stage they make you believe you listen to a whole big band. Like Louis Jordan did before, they swing the boogie, they rock the blues, they jump the jazz – always with class – and at the end they leave you breathless with a big smile upon your face.
Now that most of the swing bands have moved to a new trend, Stompy Jones is still here, alive and well and ready to shake your shack.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Red Peters and her Solid Senders


Red Peters and her Solid Senders - Rockin' Out The Blues
Red Peters and her Solid Senders – Rockin’ Out The Blues

Red Peters and her Solid Senders – Rockin’ Out The Blues

Crazy Gator Records ‎– CGRLP003 [1997]
My Man Ain’t Coming Inside – The Big Saturday Nite – Gettin’ High – As Long As I’m Movin’ – Ride Daddy Ride – Rock This Joint – I Ain’t Talkin’ – Hey Everybody – Whole Lotta Shakin’ – Shake That Thing

Red Peters, the girl with the big voice, and her band the Solid Senders (guitar, honkin’ saxophone, trumpet, drums and double bass) and guest Chris Gardner (Stargazers) on piano released Rockin’ Out the Blues, their debut 10″ in 1997. With no concession made to modernity this hot platter is a white heated slab of late 40’s/early 50’s Rhythm’n’Blues and Jump in which one can hear the influences of Ruth Brown, Big Mama Thornton, Big Joe Turner and of course Ella Mae Morse. The band’s originals match with the covers easily. Red’s voice is really impressive, confident and powerful without shouting while the band provides a solid backing.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis