Louis Jordan: Choo Choo Ch'Boogie


Choo Choo Ch'Boogie


Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five


Number Ones (Geffen 2789)

Buy Track


Louis Jordan (vocals, alto sax), Wild Bill Davis (piano),

Aaron Izenhall (trumpet), Josh Jackson (tenor sax), Carl Hogan (electric guitar), Jesse “Po” Simpkins (bass), Eddie Byrd (drums)


Composed by Denver Darling, Milt Gabler & Vaughn Horton


Recorded: New York, January 23, 1946


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

A late-1930s jazz veteran, Louis Jordan scored a string of #1 hits from the early '40s through 1950 that broadened the crossover appeal of "race music" by merging swing and boogie woogie into jump blues. The locomotive shuffle of "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie" typifies his populist formula. Humorous jive lyrics defuse what might otherwise be construed as lowlife ethnic stereotyping. Shuffle beat and simple riffing keep the music unchallenging—the opposite of bebop, a contemporaneous development that alienated dancers. Jordan acted the genial naïf, but his consistent success amidst America's wartime and postwar ferment betrayed uncommonly savvy showmanship.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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