Honkers & Bar Walkers Vol. 3, Part 1
  • 01 Eddie Chamblee - Spider Web
  • 02 Eddie Chamblee - It Ain't Necessarily Blues
  • 03 Eddie Chamblee - Lonesome Road
  • 04 Eddie Chamblee - Caravan
  • 05 Eddie Chamblee - Come On In
  • 06 T.J. Fowler - Take Off
  • 07 T.J. Fowler - The Queen
  • 08 Sax Mallard with Roosevelt Sykes - Fine And Brown
  • 09 Jim Conley with Memphis Slim - The Cat Creeps
  • 10 J.T. Brown - Walkin' Home
  • 01 Eddie Chamblee - Spider Web
    Genre: R&B
    MP3 (02:42) [6.2 MB]
  • 02 Eddie Chamblee - It Ain't Necessarily Blues
    Genre: R&B
    MP3 (02:43) [6.2 MB]
  • 03 Eddie Chamblee - Lonesome Road
    Genre: R&B
    MP3 (03:21) [7.66 MB]
  • 04 Eddie Chamblee - Caravan
    Genre: R&B
    MP3 (02:50) [6.49 MB]
  • 05 Eddie Chamblee - Come On In
    Genre: R&B
    MP3 (03:15) [7.44 MB]
  • 06 T.J. Fowler - Take Off
    Genre: R&B
    MP3 (02:50) [6.48 MB]
  • 07 T.J. Fowler - The Queen
    Genre: R&B
    MP3 (02:51) [6.54 MB]
  • 08 Sax Mallard with Roosevelt Sykes - Fine And Brown
    Genre: R&B
    MP3 (02:58) [6.79 MB]
  • 09 Jim Conley with Memphis Slim - The Cat Creeps
    Genre: R&B
    MP3 (03:06) [7.1 MB]
  • 10 J.T. Brown - Walkin' Home
    Genre: R&B
    MP3 (02:40) [6.1 MB]
radio promo contact: Kevin Johnson

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Honkers & Bar Walkers – Volume 3, Part 1
Delmark DD 542 (2002) [Apollo Series]

The third installment in Delmark’s Honkers & Bar Walkers series of saxophone-oriented R&B from Apollo Records; featuring Eddie Chamblee, T.J. Fowler, Sax Mallard with Roosevelt Sykes, Jim Conley with Memphis Slim, and J.T. Brown

“the sound of the R&B tenor saxophone, moaning, shaking, quivering and groaning…dance music, made for Saturday nights” New York Times –Peter Watrous

1 Eddie Chamblee– Spider Web 2:39
2 Eddie Chamblee– It Ain't Necessarily Blues 2:39
3 Eddie Chamblee– Lonesome Road 3:17
4 Eddie Chamblee– Caravan 2:47
5 Eddie Chamblee– Come On In 3:12
6 T. J. Fowler– Take Off 2:47
7 T. J. Fowler– The Queen 2:48
8 Sax Mallard with Roosevelt Sykes– Fine And Brown 2:55
9 Jim Conley With Memphis Slim– The Cat Creeps 3:03
10 J.T. Brown– Walkin' Home 2:37

Eddie Chamblee
*1. Spider Web 2:39 (1368-3)
*#2. It Ain’t Necessarily Blues 2:39 (1256-2)
3. Lonesome Road 3:17 (1369-2) U-160
*#4. Caravan 2:47 (1255-3) (Ellington/Tizol, ASCAP)
5. Come On In 3:12 (1456-4) (Eddie Chamblee, Embassy Music Corp., BMI) U-181

T.J. Fowler
6. Take Off 2:47 (1390-5)
7. The Queen 2:48 (1389-1) (T.J. Fowler, Embassy Music Corp., BMI) S-132

Sax Mallard with Roosevelt Sykes
8. Fine And Brown (alternate) 2:55 (1001-1) (Roosevelt Sykes)

Jim Conley with Memphis Slim
*9. The Cat Creeps 3:03 (1342-1)

J.T. Brown
10. Walkin’ Home 2:37 (1054-4)

*previously unissued

"Featuring the Rockin' & Walkin' Rhythm of Eddie Chamblee"
Eddie Chamblee, tenor sax, vocal 5 with THE FOUR BLAZES:
1255, 1256 Floyd McDaniel, guitar; William "Shorty" Hill, guitar; Tommy Braden, bass; Paul Lindsley "Jelly" Holt, drums. February 3, 1953
1368-1369 John Young, piano; Walter Scott, guitar; Ernie Shepherd, bass; Osie Johnson, drums. August 17, 1953
1456 John Young, piano; Leo Blevins, guitar; Herbie Brown, bass; Larry Jackson, drums. July 30, 1954

T.J. Fowler, piano with;
Dezie McCullers, trumpet; Frank Taylor, alto sax; Walter Cox, tenor sax; Eugene Taylor, bass; Floyd "Bubbles" McVay, drums. November 10, 1953

Oett "Sax" Mallard, alto sax with;
Roosevelt Sykes, piano; Robert "Sax" Crowder, tenor sax; Ransom Knowling, bass; Jump Jackson, drums. July 12, 1951

Jim Conley, tenor sax with;
Memphis Slim, piano; Matt "Guitar" Murphy, guitar; Neil Green, tenor saxophone; Curtis Mosley, bass; Otho Allen, drums. June 29, 1953

J. T. Brown, tenor sax with;
Bob Call, piano; Big Crawford, bass; possibly Jump Jackson, drums; unknown trumpet and alto sax. January 10, 1952

Album Production: Robert G. Koester & Steve Wagner
Supervision: Leonard Allen (United) and Fred Mendelsohn (Regal)
Cover Art: Gary Borremans
Design: Al Brandtner
Special thanks to Richard Reicheg for providing the 78s used to research the music enclosed.

Edwin Leon Chamblee (1920-1999) was born in Atlanta but raised in Chicago. His parents were musical but not professionals and young Eddie had his first saxophone by the age of twelve. He graduated from Wendell Phillips High School and began playing gigs while attending Roosevelt University.

In 1941, he joined the US Army. Like fellow saxophonists James Moody and Red Prysock, Chamblee really learned his instrument in the military. Upon his discharge in 1946, he formed a small band with drummer Osie Johnson. The following year he fell into the Miracle Records orbit. Miracle was documenting some of the best in black entertainment in Chicago. Lew Simpkins was the A&R ears of the label. Memphis Slim and saxophonist Dick Davis were two of the first signees.

Davis was one of the first tenor saxophonists to get involved in saxophone battles around Chicago. His records of "Screamin’ Boogie", "Memphis Train", and "Benson Jump" featured two additional saxophonists: Chamblee and Tommy "Mad Man" Jones. Claude McLin, Von Freeman, Cozy Eggleston, and Tom Archia were involved in similar pursuits. They all had their own jobs but for special occasions, they would battle each other. When the Billy Eckstine band broke up and Gene Ammons returned home, the entire scene picked up. Ammons was soon the king.

Chamblee had made his first Miracle recording a few weeks after Davis had recorded the above session. After one rather tentative date, Thompson made a second Miracle session. This time it was a quintet with Chamblee, not Davis, on tenor. On one tune they backed vocalist Gladys Palmer, but the other was a two-part instrumental entitled "Long Gone".

"Long Gone" was an enormous hit. A basic blues with a "Yancy Special" bass vamp; part one featured Thompson and guitarist Alvin Garrett, while part two was all Chamblee. The tune entered the Race music charts in May of 1948 and stayed there into the next year, eventually hitting #1. The follow-up "Late Freight" was also a #1 hit.

By January 1949, Chamblee was billed in Chicago clubs as Eddie "Long Gone" Chamblee. He would work his own jobs around Chicago into 1955, often playing key rooms such as the Club Bagdad, the Stage Lounge, and the Crown Propeller. After Miracle went out of business, he recorded for Premium and Coral before landing at United in 1953.

United’s interest in him came as a result of his involvement with The Four Blazes. Chamblee had been in demand for blues and R&B session work for a variety of Chicago labels and he played tenor on the Blazes #1 R&B hit of 1952, "Mary Jo".

The earliest sides with The Blazes are "It Ain’t Necessarily Blues" and "Caravan". The former is the blues with Chamblee at his funkiest. He takes it all the way over a vamp not unlike "Long Gone". "Caravan" finds Chamblee swinging easy over the elegant accompaniment of the Blazes and getting into some exchanges with Floyd McDaniel on guitar. The final item involving the Four Blazes is "Air Mail Special", the Benny Goodman-Charlie Christian collaboration. This is something of a mystery since Chamblee doesn’t solo. The blowing is given over to McDaniel and an uncredited clarinetist.

The first official Chamblee United session comes from the same date as "Air Mail Special" but with Chamblee’s own group. The slow blues, "Walkin’ Home", is right in Chamblee’s pocket and is in no way related to the J.T. Brown piece also included in this collection. "Spider Web" is like much of the material by Chamblee, previously unissued. This is a medium up blues, Chamblee all the way, and a very strong performance. "Lonesome Road" is given a ballad treatment with some fine Tatumesque accompaniment from John Young.

Chamblee’s final session for United came the following year and is also a good one. "Come On In" features a tenor intro with a nod to Tiny Bradshaw’s
"Soft", strong Chamblee and a piano solo with some handclaps as well as a Chamblee vocal. "Rhapsody in Blue" may well be the best item here with swinging Chamblee spurred on by the fine rhythm team. After Leo Blevins and Young split a chorus, Chamblee returns to the original vamp. "La! La! La! Lady" is another Chamblee vocal, this time a shuffle. Nice guitar is a feature of this one. "St. James Infirmary" is done in the traditional manner with a vocalist (not Chamblee) doing a Cab Calloway imitation. Could this be Dr. Jo Jo Adams?

To complete the Chicago contingent’s contributions to this collection, we have Roosevelt Sykes’ "Fine and Brown" featuring the wailing alto of Oett "Sax" Mallard. Mallard and Andrew "Goon" Gardner were the Chicago area alto specialists for blues and R&B session work. Jim Conley’s feature "The Cat Creeps" is Night Trainish in its melody and formulaic in its delivery. Conley was one of Memphis Slim’s House Rockers for many years. J.T. Brown was for many years the favorite saxophonist of British Blues fans. His "Walkin’ Home" is taken at a brisker clip than that of Chamblee.

The remaining contributors to this collection have solid Detroit connections. Pianist T.J. Fowler had one of the best black bands in the Motor City for many years. His principal competition came from Todd Rhodes and Paul Williams. This band’s rhythm section was solid and the soloists inventive. Fowler, Walter Cox, and Dezie McCullers get a chance to shine on "Take Off". "The Queen", a dedication to Detroit DJ Martha Jean Steinberg, gets a more danceable groove with triplet piano and a tenor solo that gets into "All Night Long" at one point, and then is the abruptly cut off.

Eddie Chamblee’s career had its ups and downs after the United period. In 1955 he joined Lionel Hampton and stayed with the band until January 1957. He had made acquaintances with an old friend from Wendell Phillips High School, Ruth Jones, known professionally as Dinah Washington. They were married in February 1957 and Chamblee became Dinah’s fifth husband. He also became her musical director and cut two albums of his own for Emarcy. It wasn’t to last however. By July of 1958, they had separated and Chamblee was working an organ group in Chicago. By the end of the decade he would be in New York where he remained for the rest of his life. He worked with organists Perri Lee and Dayton Selby in the 60s. He made LPs with the former under her name (Roulette), and the latter under his name (Prestige).

In 1976, Chamblee went to Europe. He made recordings of his own and appeared as a sideman with Arnett Cobb, Panama Francis, and Milt Buckner for French Black & Blue. In 1977, he toured Europe with his old boss, Lionel Hampton and made more recordings (some on alto sax). In 1981 he began a lengthy association with the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band. Later in the decade, he began working at the Greenwich Village club, Sweet Basil, where he played the Saturday brunch for many years. Eddie Chamblee died May 1, 1999. There were no obituaries in the New York newspapers. His career had been beneath the media radar for some time. So Eddie "Long Gone" Chamblee is no more, but thanks to CDs and the discovery of sides such as these that were done many years ago for United, Long Gone will not be forgotten.
--Bob Porter, Portraits In Blue

Honkers & Bar Walkers, Vol. 3 Review by Alex Henderson

"Before Jimmy Smith reinvented the organ -- before the explosion of soul-jazz in the late '50s and early '60s -- there were the honkers: big-toned, extroverted, hard-blowing swing/R&B tenor men who believed that instrumental jazz had a right to groove. It is no coincidence that Willis "Gator" Jackson, Wild Bill Moore, Jimmy Forrest, Arnett Cobb, and other honkers of the late '40s and early '50s went on to play soul-jazz in the '60s; honker music, like soul-jazz, swung relentlessly and did so in a very accessible, straightforward, groove-oriented fashion. Assembled in 2002, Honkers & Bar Walkers, Vol. 3 picks up where its two predecessors left off and spotlights some more recordings from the honker era. Not all of the 22 tracks on this compilation are instrumentals; several are examples of vocal-oriented jump blues. Nonetheless, swing-based instrumentals dominate this 64-minute CD, and ultimately, the spotlight belongs to tenor sax honkers like Eddie Chamblee, Jim Conley, and the abovementioned Wild Bill Moore. Spanning 1949-1954, these recordings came at a time when Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, and other bebop heavyweights were pointing jazz in a more intellectual, less groove-oriented direction. But the honkers didn't want to be abstract and ultra-complex; their roots were Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Jimmie Lunceford, and Louis Jordan, and they didn't believe that jazz was strictly for intellectuals in Sweden. Honkers valued accessibility, which is why instrumentals like Conley's "The Cat Creeps," Moore's "Dynaflow," and Chamblee's arrangement of Duke Ellington's "Caravan" are as straightforward and uncomplicated as they are. Honkers -- like Basie, Lunceford, and Hampton back in the '30s -- saw no reason why instrumental jazz couldn't be party music. Those who admired Delmark's two previous Honkers & Bar Walkers collections will be equally appreciative of Vol. 3."

United Records was the first successful black-owned record company. Operated by Leonard Allen, tailor, retired policeman and obviously one of exceptionally wide taste in music, the two labels (United and States) issued some of the best performances in the jazz, blues, gospel and R&B idioms between 1951 and ’57. Delmark is proud to release this important body of masters, including many previously unissued, recorded in studios which pioneered high fidelity recording in the ’50s.

Other Delmark albums in the United Series include:
Honkers And Bar Walkers, Volume One (438) with Jimmy Forrest, Tab Smith,
Paul Bascomb, Doc Sausage, Jimmy Coe, Cozy Eggleston...
Jimmy Forrest, Night Train (435)
Paul Bascomb, Bad Bascomb (431)
Tab Smith, Jump Time (447); Ace High (455); Top ’n’ Bottom (499)
Junior Wells, Blues Hit Big Town (640) with Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Otis Spann...
Robert Nighthawk, Bricks In My Pillow (711)
Roosevelt Sykes, Raining In My Heart (642)
Big Walter Horton/Alfred "Blues King" Harris, Blues Harmonica Kings (712)
Jump ’n’ Shout (715) with Dave Bartholomew, Ernie K-Doe, Larry Darnell,
Erline Harris, Annie Laurie, Chubby "Hip Shakin" Newsome
Long Man Blues (717) with Eddie Boyd, Harold Burrage, Arbee Stidham...
Robert Anderson, Working The Road - The Golden Age of Chicago Gospel (702) with (Little) Lucy Smith Singers, Reverend Robert Ballinger...
J.T. Brown, Windy City Boogie (714) with Little Brother Montgomery
Morris Pejoe/Arthur "Big Boy" Spires, Wrapped In My Baby (716)
Memphis Slim & His House Rockers featuring Matt "Guitar" Murphy,
Memphis Slim U.S.A. (710); The Come Back (762)
The Moroccos & Other Great Groups On United, Bang Goes My Heart (761) with The Answers, The Sheppards, The Pastels
The Danderliers & Other Great Groups on States, Chop Chop Boom
(703) with The Hornets, The Strollers, The Drakes...
The Four Blazes, Mary Jo (704) with Tommy Braden, Floyd McDaniel

Also available from Delmark:
Honkers & Bar Walkers, Volume Two (452) with King Curtis, Willis Jackson...

  • Members:
    Eddie Chamblee, T.J. Fowler, Sax Mallard, Jim Conley, J.T. Brown
  • 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:
    04/10/24 06:49:16

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