DOGGETT, BILL. Honky Tonk Popcorn. BGP. 2012 BD, org; others.
THE BIG HORN: The History of the Honkin' & Screamin' Saxophone. Proper Records. 2003. 4 CDs plus booklet. Var. groups led by Illinois Jacquet, Arnett Cobb, Wild Bill Moore, Hal Singer, Eddie Chamblee, Red Prysock, Earl Bostic, Joe Thomas, Harold Land, Big Jay McNeely, Eddie `Lockjaw' Davis, Sam `The Man' Taylor, Willis Jackson, Buddy Tate, Al Sears, and others.
I bought the Doggett collection and the four CD collection of saxophone honkers as trip down Memory Lane. This was the kind of music the chaperones at our high school sock hops didn't want us to listen to in the early to mid-fifties, but we listened any way. The Doggett group always included a Down South guitar player and a drummer, sounding much like a pre-show version of the wildly successful Jimmy Smith trio in the very late fifties and early sixties. On some cuts, he added a honking tenor saxist but all of the pieces are made from the same basic formula, vintage instrumental group r&b. Recorded by King Records of country western and R&B fame, the cuts are shorter -none hits the three-minute mark so they played well on the juke boxes that were ubiquitous in restaurants and bars back then. It's satisfying, if unchallenging, music, and it reminds me of my youth, so I'm glad I got it. It makes great cruising music while driving.
The Big Horn is more of the same, with many of the great names of the r&b era -from the precursor Illinois Jacquet (on one cut, with the Lionel Hampton band) to my personal favorites, Big Jay McNeely and Earl Bostic. (How can I forget dancing, my body as close as I could get it to the girl I was dancing with, to Earl Bostic's great "Flamingo." Proper Records deserves plaudits for this collection, which ranges widely, and includes many fine players who were NOT household (ore even teenager household) names -listen to Weasel Parker's "Typhoon" or, one of my favorites in the whole collection, Fats Noel's "Ride Daddy Ride," the lyrics of which are one long double entendre, and not a very subtle one at that. Still, my favorite cuts are those by Big Jay McNeely and Earl Bostic. In general, this music came from big band swing, simplifying and roughing up the beat and emphasizing the potential of the alto and tenor saxes to scream and preach like human voices, or it came straight from the blues and boogie woogie. There are 106 cuts in this collection! Again, it's great cruising music. "Ride, Daddy, ride!"