Blind Blake: C.C. Pill Blues


C.C. Pill Blues


Blind Blake (vocals, guitar)


All the Published Sides (JSP Records JSP 7714)

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Blind Blake (vocals, guitar), Johnny Dodds (clarinet),

Jimmy Bertrand (slide whistle)


Recorded: Chicago, IL, April 1, 1928


Rating: 85/100 (learn more)

Blind Arthur Blake's biographical info is sketchy at best, while his influence on guitar players is vast. No one is sure where or when he was born or died, but he was in Chicago in 1928. Johnny Dodds was one of the first great jazz clarinetists to make his way from New Orleans to the Windy City in 1920 at the behest of Joe "King" Oliver. This track was one of three completed for Paramount on April Fools Day, and provides an example of the range of artists Dodds worked with during this period. A year later he would do his last recordings till 1938, perhaps due to his refusing to leave his family and adopted hometown. Blake was at the top of his game, but would exit the Chicago scene by 1932, disappearing into the ether. This simple blues ventures into the surreal with Bertrand's warbling slide whistle distracting from Dodds's unique obbligatos. Blake, however, is in complete command, and his guitar and voice cut through his cohort's vertigo-inducing accompaniment.

Reviewer: Frank Murphy


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