Mellow Cats 'N' Kittens: Hot R&B And Cool Blues 1946-52 Various Artists (Mellow Cats)

£11.50

Availablity:
World
Genre:
Rhythm & Blues
Label:
Ace Records
Format:
CD
Catalogue Id:
CDCHD 1022

This product is also available in these versions:
Mellow Cats 'N' Kittens: Hot R&B And Cool Blues 1946-52 (MP3), MP3 (£7.99)

Working on the repertoire Ace owns is an often daunting, but never less than rewarding, task. Whether it be drawn from Combo, Modern, Cash/Money/RIH or whatever, it's always a pleasure to get stuck into the assembly of another great package of 40s/50s R&B and, as maybe Ace's most currently-active A&R guy in this area (with respect to my equally-enthusiastic colleagues Broven, J., and Gibbon, P.), it's fair to say that I get more pleasure out of doing so than most! Since I first came to Ace in September 2001, barely a week has gone by when I have not been working on some kind of vintage R&B package, and I hope that continues to be the case for a long time to come!

Of course, where Modern especially is concerned, it's a double delight to be able to work on anything from the company's peak years. Currently I'm fine-tuning the long awaited second and final volume of Little Willie Littlefield, as well as two more Hadda Brooks sets that will all feature an impressive amount of previously unissued material. And its largely as a result of working on the latter sets that the project you're reading about here and now came to fruition (as well as more than one potential follow up volume to it!).

To make the Willie and Hadda projects as definitive as possible. I had requested the transference to DAT of all the hitherto-uncopied acetates by both artists. In the course of doing this, the guys at SML found that several of the acetates that were credited to Hadda, were actually by other artists like Butch Stone, the Three Bits Of Rhythm and Scatman Crothers. As it happens, I had been looking at introducing a Modern" line in Ace's 'Central Avenue' series for quite a while. The quality of the unissued and unreissued sides that SML were coming up with in the course of transferring Mr. Littlefield and Ms. Brooks' unheard works made it so much easier to do so, as you'll hear!


As with the previously released "Central Avenue Speakeasy", "Mellow Cats And Kittens", takes you straight to the heart of the West Coast's Post-WWII Rhythm and Blues explosion, providing a window on a world that's long since vanished and that we will never see the like of again, more's the pity. The 'cats and kittens' may themselves be mellow, but the music herein is usually anything but, as titles like "I Want To Rock 'n' Roll", "Good, Good Wine" and "Jake's Boogie In D Flat" imply. This is about as good a representation of the sounds and styles you would encounter if you were a young black man or woman out for a night on L.A.'s famous Central Avenue anytime during the late 40s. Even though not everything here was recorded in Los Angeles, it all has that Central vibe and is all the better for having it. You may well find it incredible that only 5 of these takes have ever been released before. I, for one, most certainly did...

However you take your R&B you'll find much to enjoy here. The all-pervading influence of Louis Jordan can be heard in Butch Stone's terrific recordings, and also in sides by Jake Porter, Bubber Cyphers and Scatman Crothers, while the cooler sounds of the King Cole Trio and the Three Blazers permeate the work of the Three Bits Of Rhythm and the trios of Herb Fisher and the endearingly-named Peter Rabbit. The emergence of the R&B vocal group is represented in early sides by the Robins and the Dick Lewis orchestra - the latter featuring the Barons, who included in their number the young Marvin Phillips of Marvin and Johnny/Jesse fame. The enormously popular 'blues shouting' styles of Joe Turner and Wynonie Harris naturally get a look in, too, courtesy of T-99 and 'Spoon respectively. We even feature a bit of unashamedly Californian small-group blues, via Tiny Webb. And it goes without saying that our litter of 'kittens' all owes something to 'The Queen' herself, HRH Dinah Washington. Across the board, this was pretty much what R&B was about back then, and these exceptional artists and recordings bring the Central scene to life so memorably that you will be able to smell the cigarette smoke and taste the whiskey as vividly as if you were seeing it all unfold in person...

...And, as stated earlier, there's plenty more where this came from. This month's Smokey Hogg CD release is both pertinent to, and part of, the whole West Coast R&B scene of the time, and another sizzlin' slab from the Central Avenue scene is on its way with the imminent release of "Central Rocks!", our second multi-artist collection of Combo recordings, which will be out in November 2004 and which - like this one - will largely concentrate its efforts on the more uptempo side of post-WWII black music...

...Meanwhile, here's enough full-cream R&B to satisfy the thirstiest - AND the mellowest! - cat or kitten. Too "Miaow"-vellous for words, and that's a fact, Jack!

By Tony Rounce"

Track listing

Side 1

  • 01
    Mello Cats - Little Willie Littlefield

  • 02
    Walkin' Boogie - Bubber Cyphers And His Orchestra

  • 03
    Shadrack - Three Bits Of Rhythm

  • 04
    I Got News For You - Butch Stone And His Orchestra

  • 05
    We're Gonna Rock We're Gonna Roll aka I Want To Rock 'n' Roll - Wild Bill Moore And His Orchestra (Vocal: Scat Man)

  • 06
    Root Beer Sizzle Sazzle Sizzle - Three Bits Of Rhythm

  • 07
    Jake's Boogie In E Flat - Jake Porter And His Orchestra

  • 08
    Hootie Blues - The Peter Rabbit Trio

  • 09
    Bad Habit Blues - Jimmy "T-99" Nelson

  • 10
    Hey Hey Baby - Helen Humes

  • 11
    Good, Good Wine - Dick Lewis And His Orchestra (Vocal: Marvin Phillips)

  • 12
    Women, Women, Women - Gene Phillips And His Orchestra

  • 13
    Don't Ever Move A Woman Into Your House - Jimmy Witherspoon With Buddy Floyd And His Orchestra

  • 14
    What's The Use, Baby - Tiny Webb

  • 15
    Ooh, Look-A-There, Ain't She Pretty - Butch Stone And His Orchestra

  • 16
    Boogie Rebob - Bardu Ali And His Orchestra

  • 17
    They Raided The Joint - The Peter Rabbit Trio

  • 18
    I Live The Life I Love - Effie Smith

  • 19
    Safronia - Jake Porter And His Orchestra

  • 20
    That's What The Good Book Says - The Robins

  • 21
    Exactly Like You - Scat Man

  • 22
    Baby I Need You - Butch Stone And His Orchestra

  • 23
    People Who Have Money Are Funny - The Herb Fisher Trio

  • 24
    That Gal Safronia - Bardu Ali And His Orchestra

Delivery & Returns

We offer free P&P to UK addresses. For all other territories packaging is free and postage is charged on a weight basis.

We use Royal Mail First Class for UK deliveries and standard Air Mail for all other territories, very large orders will usually be sent via parcelforce. You may cancel your order at any time prior to your order being dispatched by emailing us at orders@acerecords.com ensuring that you quote your name, address and order reference number or by telephoning +44 (0) 208 453 1311 between 9am and 5pm GMT/BST, Monday to Friday. Please note: As music downloads are dispatched immediately after purchase, there is no possibility of cancelling these orders.

In the event that any products supplied to you by us are damaged or defective, we agree to replace or repair the damaged or defective products or refund the amount you paid for such goods (including postage & packaging) providing you notify us (either via post at or e-mail: orders@acerecords.com ) and return the goods within 28 days of purchase. Physical goods should be sent back to us in the same condition you received them to: “Returns” Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. Music downloads should be returned to us via the e-mail address above including a copy of your notification.

You have the right to cancel your order within seven days of purchase, or seven days of receipt of the goods (whichever is the longer). If you choose to cancel your order, full payment will be returned to you. Returned items should be sent to: “Returns” c/o Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. Music downloads should be returned to us via the email address: orders@acerecords.com including a copy of your notice of cancellation and order number.

Customer reviews

comments powered by Disqus

Press quotes

 Excellent post-war boogie-driven R&B sounds. ★★★★

Mojo

Ace have dished up a real treat here...a daring and superb release.

Now Dig This

Another 'must-have' from Ace.

Blues & Rhythm

Related products

Customers who bought this item also bought

© Ace records 2012