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The Best of Louis Jordan

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iTunes Review

It’s not hard to understand why Louis Jordan was idolized by every architect of rock’n’roll and soul music from Chuck Berry and Little Richard to James Brown and Ray Charles. A singer, songwriter, bandleader, and musician, Jordan fused several styles of music (big band jazz, R&B, blues, calypso) into perfectly compact singles that delighted in their own raucous sense of fun. His releases were wildly popular, and he was among the first black musicians to achieve widespread appeal with both black and white audiences. In short, Louis Jordan embodied everything that would come to define rock’n’roll and soul before such genres even existed. Although the musical brilliance of Jordan and his band, the Tympani Five, is often disguised by Jordan’s perfectly goofy lyrics, much of what made these songs so popular 60 years ago is still evident today. The laid back shuffle of “Let the Good Times Roll;” the foot-stamping and shrieks of “Caldonia;” the joyful abandon and party-starting of “Saturday Night Fish Fry” and “Beans and Cornbread;” the carved-in-stone song design of ballads like “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Cryin’” and “Nobody Knows You When You Are Down and Out.” Music has changed a lot since Jordan’s astounding run of success from 1942-1950, but look past the trends and production styles of the charts on any given week, and you’ll still find traces of Jordan’s blueprint.

Customer Reviews

Great CD!

What a nice find, great music from an unsung music great! Louis Jourdan never gets the recognition he deserves.

Thank you Tom and Jerry

what a great album i found about Louis Jordan looking at tom and jerry and the song (is you is or is you aint my baby) came on and i am glad i found out who sings the song what a great artist


Born: July 8, 1908 in Brinkley, AR

Genre: Jazz

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

Effervescent saxophonist Louis Jordan was one of the chief architects and prime progenitors of the R&B idiom. His pioneering use of jumping shuffle rhythms in a small combo context was copied far and wide during the 1940s. Jordan's sensational hit-laden run with Decca Records contained a raft of seminal performances, featuring inevitably infectious backing by his band, the Tympany Five, and Jordan's own searing alto sax and street corner jive-loaded sense of humor. Jordan was one of the first black...
Full Bio