8 Songs, 32 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

John Lee Hooker’s 1966 album It Serves You Right to Suffer is one of the most unique entries in the guitarist’s massive catalog, and it constitutes one of his most rewarding listening experiences. It was Hooker’s lone album for Impulse, the jazz label that oversaw groundbreaking releases by John Coltrane, Albert Ayler and Charles Mingus. They set up Hooker as they would any jazz leader — with the supervision of master engineer Rudy Van Gelder, and the backing of a rhythm section drawn from the world of R&B and jazz, in this case, bassist Milt Hinton and drummer David “Panama” Francis. The crisp engineering and lithe playing immediately distinguishes the album from the hundreds of other Hooker releases. At the time, blues purists might have whined that the high-minded jazz label was wrongly attempting to refine a gnarled bluesman, but Hooker had always been a sophisticated individual, both musically and mannerly. It Serves You Right… succeeds because it emphasized the regality that had always been implicit, even in his rawest recordings.

EDITORS’ NOTES

John Lee Hooker’s 1966 album It Serves You Right to Suffer is one of the most unique entries in the guitarist’s massive catalog, and it constitutes one of his most rewarding listening experiences. It was Hooker’s lone album for Impulse, the jazz label that oversaw groundbreaking releases by John Coltrane, Albert Ayler and Charles Mingus. They set up Hooker as they would any jazz leader — with the supervision of master engineer Rudy Van Gelder, and the backing of a rhythm section drawn from the world of R&B and jazz, in this case, bassist Milt Hinton and drummer David “Panama” Francis. The crisp engineering and lithe playing immediately distinguishes the album from the hundreds of other Hooker releases. At the time, blues purists might have whined that the high-minded jazz label was wrongly attempting to refine a gnarled bluesman, but Hooker had always been a sophisticated individual, both musically and mannerly. It Serves You Right… succeeds because it emphasized the regality that had always been implicit, even in his rawest recordings.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
20 Ratings
20 Ratings
ionnanes ,

John Lee Hooker

The single greatest recording session John Lee ever made, bar none

riverdeep ,

a lesson in the blues...

more people need to discover JLH!! i just heard a cool cover of "serves me right to suffer" by Eddie Skuller, and i can imagine many others also covering some of John's classics.

CoolFreeHardBop3 ,

Moody magic blues

In which John Lee and some jazzers cut some seriously chillin juke. This is the one to get for some JL Hooker tunes.
Peace.

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