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The Very Best of Big Joe Turner

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Album Review

After Rhino Records began their series of reissues of classic blues and R&B material from the Atlantic Records vaults, they did a snappy edit, shuffle, and augmentation of Atlantic's fine Big Joe Turner's Greatest Hits, and the result was the equally superb The Very Best of Big Joe Turner. The Very Best of Big Joe Turner features 12 of the tunes which appeared on the earlier album, while adding another four (mostly leaning toward the more rollicking side of Turner's musical personality, including the gloriously lascivious "TV Mama"). While Big Joe Turner's Greatest Hits covered a bit more ground, The Very Best of Big Joe Turner is even more consistent and offers one of the great pioneering shouters of hard-rockin' R&B at his wild and raving best. Sounding at once loose and thoroughly committed, this collection is a glorious summation of what Turner did best, and these 16 recordings are the soundtrack for a memorable after-hours party just waiting to happen. If you don't already have "Shake, Rattle and Roll," "Flip, Flop and Fly," or "Honey Hush" in your collection, than The Very Best of Big Joe Turner is one disc you need to add to your library posthaste, and the typically excellent remastering and packaging from Rhino only add to the value of this disc.


Born: 03 November 1907 in Baltimore, MD

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Though endlessly confused with the singer Big Joe Turner, pianist Joe Turner came from a completely different direction, following the James P. Johnson/Fats Waller stride tradition, armed with a superb technique and a fine sense of swing. Born in Baltimore, he started to learn the piano from his mother at age five and began to make a name for himself in Harlem as a teenager shortly after his move to New York in 1925. He was an accompanist to Adelaide Hall in a duo, first with Alex Hill and then Francis...
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The Very Best of Big Joe Turner, Joe Turner
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