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Big Joe Turner - Life Ain't Easy (1974)

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Big Joe Turner - Life Ain't Easy (1974)

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1 	Life Ain't Easy 	6:45
2 	Plant Your Garden 	8:20
3 	So Long 	5:05
4 	For Growin" Up 	10:40
5 	Morning Glory 	3:00
6 	Kick The Front Door In 	6:17

Bass – Ray Brown
Drums – Earl Palmer
Guitar – Thomas Gadson
Organ – Jimmy Robbins
Saxophone – Lee Allen
Trombone – Al Grey
Trumpet – Roy Eldridge
Vocals – Joe Turner

 

Big Joe Turner's Pablo recordings of 1974-84 tended to be loose and sometimes a bit sloppy (with some overlong performances) but they were always full of spirit. On this particular CD, Turner's classic singing is matched with a mostly all-star crew including trumpeter Roy Eldridge, trombonist Al Grey, tenor saxophonist Lee Allen, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Earl Palmer (along with guitarist Thomas Gadson and Jimmy Robins on piano and organ). Turner performs Woody Guthrie's "So Long" and five of his recent originals; Eldridge and Grey's occasional competitive solos uplift the music. ---Scott Yanow, AllMusic Review

 

Great Turner vocals, but the album is dominated by the Hammond organ playing of Jimmy Robins, who is a great blues shouter, as well. The tragedy of the album is that there are so many other sterling musicians who are only minimally heard. Only Roy Eldridge and Al Grey get some abbreviated featured work. Ray Brown's bass comes through at times. Lee Allen gets only the shortest solo on Kick the Front Door In. Lee was the great sax man on most of the New Orleans hits of the 50's. What a waste to have Joe Turner with a Hammond organ overpowering, rather than horn and brass from the greatest in the business. ---Neil White, Jr., amazon.com

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