V.I.B.B.B. (Vitányi Iván és Barátai Blues Band - Vitányi, Iván and his Friends' Blues Band) is a non-existent band. Leastwise, it doesn't exist as a standing, constantly performing formation. I'd simply like to record a few of my favourite tunes, playing on an authentic instrument. (Special thanks for Szilágyi Erzsébet Gimnázium - Grammer School - ). For that, I invoked some of my friends, I have played with, during the years. A We used exclusively acoustic instruments, recorded by just one stereo microphone (Uher M-655). This technique dramatically reduces both the ability and claim for any subsequent editing. Besides my laziness, and the effort for minimizing logistic, I used it, because these performers in the years of 20's , to 50's, could record amazing hits, although they had no more options like this.
This album is not done yet! Some tunes are missing, others should be rerecorded.
update: August, 2013
(Foster; arr.: Ammons)
Albert Ammons, 1946
(Halász, Péter - drum)
This popular song (Old Folks At Home) was written in the XIX-th century, and was arranged in Boogie-Woogie style by Albert Ammons, one of the most emblematic performers of the Boogie-Woogie period.
Fats Domino, 1949
Some theorists consider this tune as the beginning of the Rock And Roll era. It's a fact, that it made one of many talented New Orleans blues pianists - the 21 years old Antonie Fats Domino - to become the star of rock and roll. (And a 30 years later my favourite performer.) I inserted one of Champion Jack Dupree 's (my other favourite's) themes - Weed Head Woman - because Domino also covered a song of Dupree. He changed the original lyrics to one, what was more acceptable for the radio programs. (Dupree learned his original tune - Junker's Blues - from Willy Hall 'Drive'em Down')
Pinetop Smith, 1928
The first published record, where the term 'Boogie-Woogie' appears as the name of the style. (Formerly it was called Honky Tonk, Barrelhouse, etc.) Don't forget, we're in 1928: Fats Domino is a few months old baby, Ray Charles will born just two years later! Some themes, or phrases of the lyrics ('Mess Around', 'girl with the red dress', 'shake that thing' etc.) were used by many later musicians. This may partially caused by the fact, that the performer Clarence 'Pinetop' Smith had shut down in a dance-hall fight, under unclear circumstances. He was one of those five young and hopeful boogie-woogie performers, who had died under unclear circumstances in Chicago in the late 20's. Ones may suspect complots in the background, others say, that many unclear deaths had happened in the late 20's in Chicago.
(Carmichael – Gorrel)
Ray Charles, 1960
(Jászai, Andrea – vocals)
This song was written by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrel, in 1930. It is not clear, whether it is a love song, or a patriotic one. Whether the title 'Georgia' means a lady, or a state of the USA. (Some sources refer to Carmichel's sister, whose name was accidentally Georgia, and Gorrel had affection for her.) Since 1960, when Ray Charles 's version was released, the patriotic explanation become admitted, so far, that it had pronounced the official march of State Georgia in 1979.
Meade Lux Lewis, 1927
An ancient find of blues history. The original 1927 edition fall unworthily. Perhaps it should have been forgotten, but a producer found it about ten years later. He made efforts to contact it's performer, Meade Lux Lewis, who was earning his bread as a taxi-driver in those days. The new edition of the theme, in 1940 was more successful, Lewis found himself on the top, among the greatest stars of boogie-woogie, like Albert Ammons, and Pete Johnson.
Professor Longhair, 1954
(Batta, Gábor – derbouka)
A special variation of blues was developped in New Orleans. It's carasteristics are among others, laid-back, latin-like rhythms, and 8 bar periods. Henry Roeland Byrd, best known as Professor Longhair was one of the most significant personalities of this style. Perhaps his most popular hit is this one, what was said to be improvized in the studio, as he had forgotten to prepare for the session.
Fats Domino, 1954
Until a few years ago I thought that I knew all of Fats Domino 's songs. I heard them on the radio or poor copied cassettes. Of course I didn't have a complete discography, which was hard to get, unlike nowadays, by a few clicks. And of course I didn't even want to collect his complete oeuvre. But that time I found some pearls on the net. Among others this song, which calls up Domino's early blues-boogie tasted period.
Norah Jones, 2002
(Jászai, Andrea – vocals, Horváth, Bálint – guitar)
The most recent cover of the album. It was released on Norah Jones 's album, Come Away With Me, in 2002. Of course, in fact, the song is older: it was first recorded by Mark Dinning in 1961.
A compilation of Winifred Atwell's themes,
(Tölgyesi, Péter – bass, Halász, Péter – drum)
Perhaps Winifred Atwell is the only famous female boogie-woogie pianist of her time. Her parents ran a pharmacy in Trinidad, they assigned a regular civil occupation for their daughter. But Winnifred chose a music career. Went to Europe, and achieved success in Brittan. She was said to improvised rarely, she rather played accurately crafted parts, with a brilliant technique and impressive confidence, tasted by a special humour, and feminine charm. This cover is a compilation of her themes, included that one, what is known in Hungary, as the anthem of Telesport (a popular TV program). This tune is considered to be hers by many, but I haven't yet found any credible data about it.
Champion Jack Dupree, 1962
(Tölgyesi, Péter – bass)
Champion Jack Dupree was special character of blues-history. Born as William Thomas Dupree in 1909, although other data also can be found on the WEB. He orphaned in his early childhood (under unexplored circumstances), and grew up in an orphanage for black children, in New Orleans, in which Willy Hall 'Drive’em Down', a known tavern-pianist at that time was teaching music for the residents. Dupree later worked as a professional boxer (and got his nickname Champion Jack ), played the piano in Chicago, and served as a cook in the army during the world war. Later he was carrying this profession in his civil life. But never gave up playing. His lyrics are full of social sensitivity: he sang about the problems of underclass society (alcohol, drug, delinquency) although he leaded a relatively moderate life. Dupree dedicated a song to his master. While unfortunately no recording of Willy Hall has found until now, we can take an experience to reconstruct his playing style according to Dupree's referred song. That's why I pasted a few themes of it into this cover.
(King - Goffin)
Aretha Franklin, 1967
(Jászai, Andrea – vocals)
Aretha Franklin is often called the queen of soul. She didn’t lack gospel base: her father was a preacher, so her musical career started in a church choir. Later she also tried her luck in the world of blues and funky. The style of this tune doesn't match the others perfectly, but Andi an me like it much. And after all, this is a subjective collection.
This recording is not done yet. Till it will be, please watch this live performance !
Hersal Thomas was one of that young hopes of boogie-woogie, I wrote about apropos of Pinetop's Boogie, who died unexpectedly and inexplicably. He died in 1926 through poisoning, at age of 17. Whether it is caused by the loosely managed hygiene, or something else? Perhaps it will never turn up exactly. But his short carreer took great influence on the history of blues, as for example this theme was covered by Albert Ammons. - making substrate for some malicious conjecture. My cover is based on Ammons's version, which combines stride and boogie-woogie styles virtuously.
Ray Charles, 1954
(Avar, Panni – saxophone, Suhajda, Attila – guitar)
A cover of Walther Davis's song, from 1940. It was released on the B side of I Got A Woman in 1954. Eloquently demonstrates, that Charles was as much familiar with blues, as with boogie-woogie or soul. The song was later covered by many, among others Eric Clapton on his Reptile album.
(Johnson - Dexter)
Pete Johnson, 1939
(Pivarnyik, László - cajoon)
Live recording at International Bluegrass and Acoustic Music Festival, Abaliget, 11. August, 2013
HAARP and it’s security and environmental risk is on many one’s mind nowadays. Conspiracy theories come out associating it with industrial and environmental disasters. Just as in the years of 30-ies, and 40-ies, when Nicola Tesla was experimenting with his Death Ray, what is considered to be the predecessor of HAARP. (Although Tesla called it Peace Ray at the beginning). Some even suspect him to be responsible for the Tunguska explosion in 1908. This inspired Pete Johnson, one of three kings of Boogie-Woogie. (I’ve already written about Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis on this site.)
Big Maceo Merriweather, 1941
(Horváth, Bálint – guitar, Tölgyesi, Péter – bass)
Major "Big Maceo" Merriweather created a special style by his piano playing: series of later famous pianists followed his footsteps. (Otis Spann, Johnny Jones, etc.) His song, Worried Life Blues has a chance for being the Most Covered Blues Hit. Later covers often blend it with "Someday Baby Blues" of Sleepy John Estes (1935), although - except that ominous phrase in the title - not so many similarities can be found. The 1941 release is one of Big Maceo's first recordings with guitarist Tampa Red, who became his permanent partner.
Ray Charles, 1956
(Jászai, Andrea – vocals)
No one should be astonished, if the sentence in the title should've been said by a grownup man as this (as Andi says it of course): 'Hallelujah, I love him so', perhaps 'he loves me so'. Everyone knew, that it was a gospel song, and he sang about the love of the Lord. Melody and rhythm of the song meets the requirements of the style. Ray Charles however says 'her', he sings about secular love. This is the essence of soul music,
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