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Slam Bam (The Definitive Black & Blue Sessions (Hérouville, France 1971))

Slam Stewart

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Album Review

Most of bassist Slam Stewart's sessions as a leader were concentrated during the last 20 years of his life. This 1971 recording features Stewart with pianist Milt Buckner and drummer Jo Jones in a swing-filled if somewhat predictable atmosphere. "Slam Bam" is a fun-filled roller coaster blues powered by the leader's strong bassline, Buckner's forceful block chords and Jones' matchless brushwork. The remaining tracks are pretty much familiar ground for Stewart, including yet another version of his big hit "The Flat Foot Floogee" (co-written with Slim Gaillard) that occasionally switches to its pre-censored title "The Flat Foot Floozie; " plus potent standards such as "C Jam Blues," "Oh, Lady be Good," "Sweet Georgia Brown," and "Ain't Misbehavin'." Stewart's octave unison vocals are present on a number of tracks, and they will get tiresome for all but his most devout fans, though this studio date is definitely worth acquiring.

Biography

Born: September 21, 1914 in Englewood, NJ

Genre: Jazz

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

Slam Stewart was a superior swing-oriented bassist whose ability to bow the bass and hum an octave apart made him famous in the jazz world. He had thought of the idea while studying at Boston Conservatory when he heard Ray Perry singing along with his violin. In 1936, Stewart was with Peanuts Holland's group and the following year he started playing regularly with guitarist/singer/comedian Slim Gaillard in a group logically dubbed "Slim and Slam." "Flat Foot Floogie" became a huge hit and kept the...
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Slam Bam (The Definitive Black & Blue Sessions (Hérouville, France 1971)), Slam Stewart
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