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Jazz Gillum Vol. 1 1936-1938

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Album Review

William McKinley "Jazz" Gillum was a good-time singer and a fine harmonica player whose style predated the first Sonny Boy Williamson but was more advanced than the players of the 1920s. His complete output up to 1949 has been made available by the Austrian Document label on four CDs. The first volume has his first five sessions and one song from his sixth. Gillum is joined by guitarist Big Bill Broonzy on all of the dates with appearances by pianist John Davis, Washboard Sam and electric guitarist George Barnes (who is heard a year before Charlie Christian debuted). Highlights include "Jockey Blues," "Don't You Scandalize My Name," "Reefer Head Woman," "Good Old 51 Highway" and "You're Laughing Now." Fine blues-oriented music.


Born: 11 September 1904 in Indianola, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '30s, '40s

One of the pre-eminent Chicago harpists of the pre-war era, Bill "Jazz" Gillum was born September 11, 1904 in Indianola, Mississippi. He picked up the harmonica at the age of six, and five years later ran away from home to live with relatives in nearby Charleston; after spending his formative years playing street corners and house parties for spare change, Gillum moved to Chicago in 1923, and before long he hooked up with guitarist Big Bill Broonzy, often playing together as a duo in area clubs....
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Jazz Gillum Vol. 1 1936-1938, Jazz Gillum
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