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Louis Jordan: Somebody Up There Digs Me

Album Notes

When Louis Jordan signed to Mercury in 1956, he tried to revive his struggling record sales by re-recording some of his more celebrated songs from his commercial heyday. That's a strategy usually doomed to commercial and artistic failure, and commercially this album -- including such Jordan standbys as "Caldonia," "Let the Good Times Roll," "Choo Choo Ch' Boogie," "I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town," and "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens" -- certainly didn't pay big dividends. But while no one would rate this as highly as the original jump blues classics with which Jordan made his mark, actually both he and his band performed pretty admirably given the circumstances, updating the originals only slightly to reflect the emerging rock & roll trends, with a young Quincy Jones acting as musical director. Session ace Mickey Baker was on guitar as well, and reeled off some really hot licks on occasion (especially on "Caldonia"), though he wasn't given as long a leash as he could have been. It's more for the serious Jordan fan, though, than someone who wants just one or a few Jordan records, who would be better off with collections of his earlier material. ~ Richie Unterberger


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