Honkers & Bar Walkers - Vol. 2, Part 1
  • 01 Willis Jackson - Pee Wee (Call Of The Gators)
  • 02 Morris Lane - Return Of B.O. Plenty
  • 03 Morris Lane - Gitchie Gitchie-Goomba
  • 04 Morris Lane - Joe's Beat
  • 05 Morris Lane - Blue Jeans
  • 06 Panama Francis - Benson Bounce
  • 07 Panama Francis - Darkness Of The Delta
  • 08 Panama Francis - Bess's Blues
  • 09 Panama Francis - 12:00 Jump
  • 10 Bill Harvey - I Love Her
  • 11 Bill Harvey - Walk Right In
  • 01 Willis Jackson - Pee Wee (Call Of The Gators)
    Genre: R&B
    MP3 (03:09) [7.22 MB]
  • 02 Morris Lane - Return Of B.O. Plenty
    Genre: R&B
    MP3 (02:56) [6.71 MB]
  • 03 Morris Lane - Gitchie Gitchie-Goomba
    Genre: R&B
    MP3 (02:13) [5.08 MB]
  • 04 Morris Lane - Joe's Beat
    Genre: R&B
    MP3 (02:35) [5.92 MB]
  • 05 Morris Lane - Blue Jeans
    Genre: R&B
    MP3 (02:20) [5.33 MB]
  • 06 Panama Francis - Benson Bounce
    Genre: R&B
    MP3 (02:35) [5.91 MB]
  • 07 Panama Francis - Darkness Of The Delta
    Genre: R&B
    MP3 (03:11) [7.29 MB]
  • 08 Panama Francis - Bess's Blues
    Genre: R&B
    MP3 (03:12) [7.31 MB]
  • 09 Panama Francis - 12:00 Jump
    Genre: R&B
    MP3 (02:47) [6.36 MB]
  • 10 Bill Harvey - I Love Her
    Genre: R&B
    MP3 (03:08) [7.16 MB]
  • 11 Bill Harvey - Walk Right In
    Genre: R&B
    MP3 (02:54) [6.64 MB]
radio promo contact: Kevin Johnson

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Honkers & Bar Walkers – Volume 2, Part 1
Delmark DD 452 (1992) [Apollo Series]

The second installment in Delmark’s Honkers & Bar Walkers series of saxophone-oriented R&B from Apollo Records; featuring Willis Jackson, Morris Lane, Panama Francis, and Bill Harvey.

1 Willis Jackson– Pee Wee (Call Of The Gators) 3:05
2 Morris Lane & His Orchestra– Return Of B.O. Plenty 2:53
3 Morris Lane & His Orchestra– Gitchie Gitchie-Goomba 2:09
4 Morris Lane & His Orchestra– Joe's Beat 2:33
5 Morris Lane & His Orchestra– Blue Jeans 2:17
6 Panama Francis– Benson Bounce 2:30
7 Panama Francis– Darnkness Of The Delta 3:08
8 Panama Francis– Bess's Blues 3:08
9 Panama Francis– 12:00 Jump 2:44
10 Bill Harvey & His Orchestra– I Love Her 3:05
11 Bill Harvey & His Orchestra– Walk Right In 2:50

1) Willis Jackson "Pee Wee (Call of the Gators)" (3:04) (Willis Jackson)

May 29, 1950, Apollo Records

Willis Jackson - tenor saxophone
Andrew Ford - trumpet
Michael "Bootie" Wood - trombone
Reuben Phillips - baritone saxophone
Arnold James - piano
Leonard Swain - bass
Panama Francis - drums

2-5) Morris Lane & His Orchestra, March 13, 1951
Morris Lane - tenor sax, remainder unknown

6-9) Panama Francis' Savoy Sultans
Session date: January 25, 1952

Panama Francis: drums
Bobby Williams, Shad Collins: trumpets
Hilton Jefferson: alto sax
Count Hastings: tenor sax
George James: baritone sax
Dave Rivera: piano
Milt Hinton: bass

10-11) Bill Harvey & His Orchestra
Session date: prob February 1952

Bill Harvey: tenor saxophone
Bonita: vocals
remainder unknown

CD liner notes from journalist/radio host Bob Porter from 1992

Music writers are continuously searching for something new. This is not difficult to understand since it is the discovery of a new artist or the ability to identify a new trend that sets a writer up on the authority on whatever it is that he uncovers. Much of American music history (whether one wants to concentrate on Jazz or Rock-N-Roll) is based on the activity of the key figures in each new movement. But what of yesterday's discovery? What of last year's trend? What about artists who continue to remain true to a single vision, even though it is not currently in the spotlight? Those who do not "keep up" or "bend with the breeze" can become old news in a very short period of time. In terms of pop music, this can be fatal. In the terms of jazz, it is not, but it can lead to some periods of neglect.

The late Ralph J. Gleason once reviewed an album featuring Illinois Jacquet and Roy Eldridge with less than normal enthusiasm largely because he felt the players had not broken new ground. Some years later, Gleason remarked that on a trip to France he was vilified by jazz fans who remembered that old review. He was surprised that some people took the review so seriously, but the fans who did were not necessarily faulting his judgement only on one particular album. There are times when an artist or performer must say to himself: this is who I am- this is what I do. The pursuit of the next fad has to stop somewhere.

The second in Delmark's HONKERS & BAR WALKERS series of saxophone oriented Rhythm & Blues brings us to the Apollo label begun in 1944 by Teddy Gottlieb and Hy Siegal. The label sprouted up during the end of the recording ban and flourished through the years of Bebop and R & B prominence. Black Gospel became a key element in the mix, but all of it stumbled, tumbled, and eventually fell apart during the transition from 10"LP to 12"LP while R & B was becoming Rock-n-Roll.

The label was an important spawning ground for saxophone talent. Georgie Auld, Arnett Cobb, and Willis Jackson made their very first recordings as leaders for Apollo while Coleman Hawkins and Illinois Jacquet made some of their very best for the label. Bop stars such as Charlie Parker, Leo Parker, Wardell Gray, and Dexter Gordon contributed as sidemen. But after 1949, there was little if any modern jazz recorded for Apollo. What saxophone instrumentals were recorded during the 1950's were in the more popular R & B mode. Or were they?

A long listen to the music here will reveal a couple of major tenor stars doing what they do best and some splendid music that has nothing much to do with either Bebop or Rhythm & Blues played by some shamefully neglected players more in keeping with the Black Swing tradition than anything else. To be sure, Jacquet and Cobb were models for most of the tenorman here, but generally there is little in the way of concessions to R & B cliches and virtually no hint of Bebop influence - just some solid uptown jazz. Nobody was talking much about the influence of Cootie Williams on trumpet players in the mid-'50's, but you'll hear several players here getting down with that style, while some of the pianists have a thorough knowledge of Milt Buckner's playing.

WILLIS JACKSON's "Pee Wee" is an alternate take of what was known as "Call of the Gators" on 78. This has some beautiful Jackson blowing - complete with quotes from "Cool Blues" and "Serenade In Blue" - in a solid, medium tempo ride. Jackson was sponsored at Apollo by Arnett Cobb and used Cobb's working band for his Apollo session. This take probably wasn't used as an original master because Jackson wanders off mic in a couple of spots.

The four MORRIS LANE sides were once issued on a 45 EP and have held up rather well. Lane was Cobb's replacement in the 1947 Lionel Hampton Band, later worked with Earl Hines, Paul Gayten, Mary Lou Williams, and Charlie Singleton. His work here is bluesy but not overly so, and apart from a couple of spots on "Blue Jeans" there is little reference to R & B. One question about Lane that lingers is whether he could be the Morris Lounds who appears on one of Miss Rhapsody's Savoy dates. There are similarities of style. He dies in Gary, Indiana, May 1967.

PANAMA FRANCIS' Savoy Sultans have been a contemporary reminder of the halycon days of Harlem. Francis spent a lot of time doing studio work in the 1950s and a lot of time working with Dinah Shore in the 60's before getting his Sultans together in the mid-70s. The group has been a joyous part of the scene since then and the music they play doesn't sound a great deal different than what is played here. "Darkness On The Delta" is very much a departure from the other music played here since Hilton Jefferson, the master alto saxophonist, is featured. Dave Rivera, George James, and the underrated Count Hastings have some fine spots amongst the other tracks. There is muted trumpet on "Benson's Bounce" and open trumpet on "12:00 Jump", but who plays what, is not known.

BILL HARVEY is best known for his work in the Memphis area with people like Bobby Bland and Junior Parker, and there is not a lot in his leader discography. Each of these tunes feature vocals, as well as tenor. "Walk Right In" was adapted by saxophonist Jesse Powell (with vocalist Fluffy Hunter) as "The Walking Blues" in a 1956 Federal recording with even more suggestive lyrics.

Exactly how many saxophonists on this disc actually walked the bar is probably irrelevant. What matters is that the music works after all these years. It doesn't break new ground and it won't start any new trends, but it certainly satisfies.
- Bob Porter, PORTRAITS IN BLUE, WBGO Network

CHICAGO TRIBUNE review, Chris Heim

Honkers and Bar Walkers Vol. 2 (Delmark)(STAR)(STAR)(STAR)

"About four years ago Chicago`s Delmark label released a well-received set called ”Honkers and Bar Walkers,” a joyous blast from the past of wailing tenor sax style R&B. Now the label has unveiled another 22 tenor tracks, this time from a different group of artists doing tunes originally recorded in the `50s for the Apollo label. Tenor tirades are in ample supply thanks to master blasters like King Curtis, who serves up the well-titled ”Dynamite at Midnite” here, but it`s variety that is this set`s greatest asset. A sultry

”Bess`s Blues” from Panama Francis is perhaps the finest, but not the only example of the slow burners that heat up this album, while tracks like Morris Lane`s ”Blue Jeans” show off the jazzy approach many artists here favor. The seriocomic mystery of Willis Jackson`s ”Pee Wee (Call of the Gators),” the cool strutting (not to mention steamy double-entendres) of Bill Harvey`s ”Walk Right In” and the rocking rhumba of Charlie Ferguson`s ”Hi Beam” light up this album with their stylistic detours and droll hepcat humor. This sudsy sax-honking is strictly draft beer music, but it can keep a party rolling all night long."


Honkers & Bar Walkers, Vol. 2 Review by Jim Todd

"Founded in 1944, New York-based Apollo Records was home for a time to an impressive roster of artists, including saxophonists Coleman Hawkins, Arnett Cobb, and Illinois Jacquet. Honkers & Bar Walkers, Vol. 2, a compilation of meat-and-potatoes blues, blues-based swing, R&B, and some early rock & roll, is one of a series of reissues by Delmark of material from the Apollo archives. This volume focuses on some of Apollo's other sax players and sax-based bands and combos. Sequenced chronologically, the set presents rare and previously unreleased sides from eight sessions recorded between 1950 and 1956, opening with Willis Jackson's "Call of the Gators" and concluding with King Curtis' "Dynamite at Midnite." The riffing and bumptious beats here can blur into an indistinct haze over the course of its 22 tracks, but taken individually, there are a number of fine performances. Highlights include an astonishing artistic and technical display from alto master Hilton Jefferson on the ballad "Darkness on the Delta" -- one of four tracks from drummer and bandleader Panama Francis; the unidentified baritone sax player with Bobby Smith on "That's for Sure"; and the prototypical yakety sax of King Curtis' "Rush Hour." There are also some interesting vocal choruses, notably the lugubrious moaning behind the unidentified bluesy tenor sax on "Hard Times" from Charlie Ferguson & His Orchestra. The hopelessly politically incorrect stereotyping on "Gitchie Gitchie Goomba," one of two tracks from Morris Lane & His Orchestra, is the only lame moment.

The compilation's documentation is helpful: Bob Porter's useful liner notes provide context and attempt to identify as many of the key performers as possible, and the track listings include session dates, master numbers, and take numbers. The remastering is also very good, bringing to life sounds that current players might be able to approximate but never replicate."

  • Members:
    Willis Jackson, Morris Lane, Panama Francis, Bill Harvey
  • Sounds Like:
    "the sound of the R&B tenor saxophone, moaning, shaking, quivering and groaning…dance music, made for Saturday nights”
  • Influences:
    Illinois Jacquet, Big Jay McNeely, Big Al Sears, Charlie Parker, Arnett Cobb, King Curtis
  • AirPlay Direct Member Since:
  • Profile Last Updated:
    02/27/24 23:57:35

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