Thursday, April 22, 2010

Zuzu BOLLIN - Texas Bluesman 1989

Zuzu BOLLIN - Texas Bluesman 1989


In the early Fifties, Zuzu Bollin, a journeyman jump-blues singer-guitarist from Dallas, cut four superb sides for the tiny Torch label before fading away. Despite a deep, charcoal voice and a guitar style that, at times, echoed the poetic precision of T-Bone Walker, Bollin was somehow forgotten by all but the most avid blues collectors. That changed, however, in 1987 when it was discovered that Bollin was still living in the Big D and anxious to return to the blues after a thirty-five-year hiatus.
The propitious find led to a recording session and the local, vinyl-only release of Bollin's first-ever album, Texas Bluesman, in 1989. But Bollin's comeback was short-lived; he died in 1990 before he had the chance to resuscitate both his career and a big-band blues sound that had disappeared in the Sixties. Fortunately, Clifford Antone, owner of the Austin blues club and the record label that bear his name, thought so much of Texas Bluesman that he decided to re-release the album on CD and make it available to blues fans beyond the Lone Star State. Whether or not Bollin's reputation will grow larger is uncertain. But one thing is sure: Bollin should have been recording all the years he wasn't.
The proof is found in renditions of tunes like "Big Legs," "Hey Little Girl" and the Jimmy Rushing-Count Basie beauty "Blues in the Dark," all of which artfully depict how blues, rhythm & blues and Texas swing can mesh and, in the process, create big-band grooves that beckon feet to the dance floor. With Bollin at the mike and the smooth Juke Jumpers, complemented by old friends like saxophonist David "Fathead" Newman and guitarist Wayne Bennett, shoring up a swinging background, Texas Bluesman blows through contemporary music like a blast of fresh air. Bollin wasn't afraid to share the spotlight, either – just check out Bennett's eye-opening guitar work on "Cold, Cold Feeling."
On Texas Bluesman we get a taste of the state's blues legacy, but we're left with the sad wish that Bollin were around to enjoy the fun.
Zuzu Bollin (September 5, 1922 – October 2, 1990) was an American blues guitarist from Frisco, Texas. Originally born 'A.D. Bollin', the name 'Zuzu' is believed to refer to a brand of ginger-snap cookies popular at the time . Zuzu was thought to be dead until he was rediscovered in 1988 living in Dallas Texas by Dallas Blues Society Records founder Chuck Nevitt. Nevitt gathered together a top notch band and produced Bollin's first full length LP "Texas Bluesman" in 1989 as the debut release on Dallas Blues Society Records. This record was sold to Antones Records a couple of years later, and Antones released it on CD. This recording augmented Zuzu's only 4 sides (two 78rpm records) recorded in the early 50s on the Dallas based Torch label. Before his death in 1990 Zuzu made festival dates both in the states and abroad.
CD includes two previously unreleased tracks.Personnel: Zuzu Bollin (vocals, guitar); Duke Robillard, Wayne Bennett (guitar); Mike Strickland (saxophone, baritone saxophone); David "Fathead" Newman , Rocky Morales, Robert Harwell, Marchel Ivery (tenor saxophone); John Mills (baritone saxophone); Charles McBurney, Keith Winking (trumpet); Jon Blondell (trombone); Craig Simechek, Doug Sahm (piano); Doyle Bramhall, George Rains (drums).Audio Mixers: Derek O'Brien; Duke Robillard; George Rains; Stuart Sullivan; Bob Sullivan.Liner Note Authors: Derek O'Brien; Tony Burke.Recording information: Fire Station Studio, San Marcos, TX; Sumet-Bernet Studios, Dallas, TX.Photographer: Kent Barker.Unknown Contributor Role: Derek O'Brien.Zuzu's principal contribution to Texas blues history is an immaculately realized collection that includes remakes of both sides of his debut 78 (the original version of "Why Don't You Eat Where You Slept Last Night" is available on Vol. 3 of Rhino's Blues Masters series, "Texas Blues") and a uniformly tasty lineup of jump blues goodies. The sterling band includes guitarist Duke Robillard (who co-produced), drummer George Rains, and saxists David Newman and Kaz Kazanoff.
By Bill Dahl. AMG.
Duke Robillard- (Guitar),
Doug Sahm- (Piano),
Jack Barber- (Bass),
Wayne Bennett- (Guitar),
Jon Blondell- (Bass),
Jon Blondell- (Trombone),
Zuzu Bollin- (Guitar),(Vocals),
Doyle Bramhall- (Drums),
Sumter Bruton- (Rhythm Guitar),
Robert Harwell- (Tenor Sax),
Marchel Ivery- (Tenor Sax),
Charles McBurney- (Trumpet),
Rocky Morales- (Tenor Sax),
David "Fathead" Newman- (Tenor Sax),
George Rains- (Drums),
Craig Simechek- (Piano),
Keith Winking- (Trumpet),
Mike Strickland- (Baritone Sax),
Hash Brown- (Rhythm Guitar),
John Mills- (Baritone Sax),
Jim Milam (Clevenger Bass).
01.  Big Legs  02:38
02.  Hey Little Girl  03:38
03.  Blues in the Dark  04:40
04.  Kidney Stew  02:57
05.  Cold Cold Feeling  05:25
06.  What Don't You Eat Where You Slept Last Night  02:54
07.  Headlight Blues  02:56
08.  How Do You Want Your Rollin' Done  02:58
09.  Leary Blues  03:37
10.  Rebecca  03:26
11.  Zu's Blues  05:22


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