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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Delmart Records Update Happy Birthday Bob!!!!

A big happy birthday to Bob Koester founder of Delmark records, blues historian, and all around great guy!!

Today is Delmark's Bob Koester's 76th Birthday!! Bob has been in great spirits as of late, swimming everyday, and still working at Delmark and Jazz Record Mart 6 days a week- Truly an inspiration!
If you want to say hello, you can always call Bob at Delmark , 773 539 5001, or email him at (which might take him a while to respond!)

Big Band Swing on Delmark!

John Burnett Swing Orchestra Delmark CD Release Party - Best Big Swing Band in Chicago Area

Sunday, November 9, 2008 - at the famous FitzGerald's night club/roadhouse in lovely Berwyn, IL

Sunday, November 9 - 6 to 9:30 p.m.
as part of 90.9fm WDCB Public Radio's
"Sunday Big Band Jazz Party"

6615 Roosevelt Road, Berwyn
(708) 788-2118
$10 cover

John Burnett Orchestra's NEW CD on Delmark
"West of State Street/East of Harlem"
with special guest, trumpeter Randy Sandke and vocalist, the Fabuolous Frieda Lee!!!

The John Burnett Orchestra's new CD West of State Street/East of Harlem is here! This “all-star” band has recorded with and performed with such legendary jazz icons as Buddy DeFranco, Louie Bellson, Byron Stripling and more. John Burnett can also be heard weekday mornings on WDCB, 90.9FM, classic radio show, “All Things Jazz.”

"West of State Street/East of Harlem"

1. Flight of the Foo Birds
2. Groovin' Hard
3. How Sweet It Is
4. Randy Sandke Intro
5. Night In Tunisia
6. Anytime, Anyday, Anywhere
7. Struttin' With Some Barbecue
8. Ten Cents A Dance
9. One O'Clock Jump
10. Hello Dolly
11. Little Jazz Boogie
12. Witchcraft
13. How Long Has This Been Going On?
14. Sweet Georgia Brown
15. Begin The Beguine
16. April In Paris
17. Love For Sale

"West of State Street/East of Harlem"
with special guest, trumpeter Randy Sandke
released on Chicago's own Delmark Records

The John Burnett Orchestra
is directed by John Burnett. "West of State Street/East of Harlem" features special guest, trumpeter Randy Sandke, and includes such fine musicians as:

The Band
Vocals --The Fabulous Frieda Lee
Saxes --Bob Frankich, lead alto, Nick Mazarella, alto, Doug Stone, lead tenor, Anthony Bruno, tenor, Bruce Mack, baritone
Trumpets --Terry Connell, lead, Mike McGrath, Greg Duncan, Tony Pons
Trombones -- Bryant Scott, Adam Gross, Dana Legg, Bill Walsh, bass
Piano -- Mark Burnell
Guitar -- John Moran
Bass -- Paul Martin
Drums -- Bill Byan

The John Burnett Swing Orchestra specializes in all forties style big band swing - keeping alive the sounds of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Count Basie and others. Each musician is highly professional and most have played with many of the top American big bands such as the Miller, Herman and Buddy Rich Bands. In addition to swing music the orchestra performs current big band jazz charts and many vocal ballads such as those of Frank Sinatra, Joe Williams, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn. Vocalist Frieda Lee has toured with the late great Joe Williams and Kevin Mahogany to name but a few. The orchestra, is directed by John Burnett; morning host of 90.9FM WDCB - Public Radio From College of DuPage - Chicago's leading jazz radio station. John hails from England and attended the Royal Academy of Music. The orchestra consists of five saxes, four trumpets, four trombones, piano, bass, drums and at least one vocalist. It is rapidly establishing the reputation of being one of the best bands in Chicago; grabbing the attention of both old and young alike. Typical venues where the orchestra has appeared include jazz festivals, The Jazz Showcase in Chicago, The Green Dolphin Jazz Club in Chicago, Fitzgerald's Night Club In Berwyn, the famous Willowbrook Ballroom in the western suburbs, and major hotels such as Chicago's world-renown Drake Hotel.

"As they said about Duke Ellington, John's band is his instrument, and he plays it with all the commitment and authority of the great bandleaders of the past.-" Randy Sandke
"They are helping to keep the big band swing alive and they are succeeding, too!" - Buddy DeFranco


New Reviews of 55 Years of Delmark Blues and Jazz

55 Years of Delmark Jazz
Various Artists

Review by Thom Jurek, All Music Guide

Delmark Records is more than an institution in the jazz and blues world. Founder and owner Bob Koester celebrated 55 years by issuing two collections of seminal blues and jazz recordings by artists across the spectrum of both genres. This double disc contains a CD with 17 cuts by legends and obscurities in jazz, including King Curtis, Sun Ra, Coleman Hawkins, Art Hodes, Curtis Fuller, Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre, and Malachi Thompson. Some of the new cats include the Deep Blue Organ Trio, Ted Sirota, and Eric Alexander. Disc one is loaded with excellent and sometimes rousing performances. There is also a DVD in the package, with performances by Ari Brown, Fred Anderson, Ritual Trio, Chicago Underground Duo, and Nicole Mitchell. For the price, this set is literally unbeatable.

Rate Your Review by Jenell Kesler

Daddy O's and Kittens, don your best porkpie hat, and slip into your black ribbed turtle necked sweaters, it's time to do some serious celebrating. Those Hip Cats at Delmark Records are having a birthday ... yeah, the folks who've been bringing us the finest quarter notes and poly tonalities are now 55 years old. No jive ... for more than half a century my speakers have rumbled, sparked, floated, and brought my ears more pleasure than I dare even think about. And how have these purveyors of the Blues and Jazz chosen to celebrate? Why by doing something so cool for us, the fans, that you won't believe it.

Delmark's catalog is deep and expansive, yet these folks are just too hip to rest on their laurels, even out doing their 50th Anniversary collection by a mile ... and that one has traveled with me around the world and back. But here they've layered an ultra fine collection of unexpected tunes by artist with whom they've had a deep and satisfying relationship ... and dare I say that some of these beboppers where just finding their footing when Delmark made the scene.

The package is brilliant, a superb cover speaking the language of Jazz in illustration; and why they never released it as a poster commemorating this event is beyond me. There are two discs found here for your exploration: Disc One is a music selection with thirteen tracks to blow you away, and sweet enough to bring you right back for more, while Disc Two is a DVD, where you get to see the artists do it live. I've seen live material before, but this is more than I could have hoped for. Delmark has tried, and succeeded in making this a very personal experience, one you can relate to. It is evident that these folks not only bring you the music, but they are fans of the music first and foremost. The live performances are just what you would expect to see and hear had you been to the venue, focusing on the artists and their playing, their instruments, their mouth and hand movements ... all of this brings a very personal experience to the viewer.

Yves Francois opens the package, which was a treat form me, with the song "Lester Leaps In," not the track I would have expected as the lead, but then, that just shows you were their heads are at. Other artists include, King Curtis, Deep Blue Organ Trio, Sun Ra, Art Hodes, Eric Alexander, George Lewis, and a host of others who will knock your shoes off. Now bear with me, because the live material is even better: Nicole Mitchell rolls out a ten minute version of "The Creator Has Other Plans For Me," Ari Brown stunned me with "Richard's Tune" coming in with nearly fourteen minutes of unexpected pleasure, Jazz O' Maniacs lay out the shortest number, but unforgettable non the less, with "My Baby" timing in at three and a half minutes, Fred Anderson, The Ritual Trio, and The Chicago Underground Trio all come in with tracks that run with precision and grace, marvelously balanced, and skillfully executed in the sixteen minute range. Just disc two alone is worth more than you ever dreamed.

And those shoes that got knocked off while playing the first disc ... don't bother putting them back on, your socks are out the window at this point. Yeah, you're barefootin' it tonight

55 Years of Delmark Jazz (CD and DVD)

1 Lester Leaps In -Yves Francois 3:13
2 Goin' to Town -Deep Blue Organ Trio 7:41
3 Dynamite at Midnight -King Curtis 3:12
4 Saro-Wiwa - Ted Sirota's Rebel Souls 9:34
5 Equinox -Curtis Fuller 5:40
6 It's Crazy -Francine Griffin 4:11
7 Doctor Jazz -George Lewis 5:05
8 Black Metropolis -Malachi Thompson 9:12
9 In My Morning Song -Kalaparush 3:24
10 Mode for Mabes- Eric Alexander 8:41
11 Bu-De-Daht -Coleman Hawkins 3:12
12 Brainville -Sun Ra 4:12
13 Panama Rag -Art Hodes 4:01

1 The Creator Has Other Plans for Me [DVD] -Nicole Mitchell
2 Richard's Tune [DVD] -Ari Brown
3 My Baby [DVD] -Jazz O'Maniacs
4 Flashback [DVD] -Fred Anderson
5 Big M [DVD] Kahil El Zabar's Ritual Trio
6 Power [DVD excerpt]- Chicago Underground Trio

55 Years of Delmark Blues- New Reviews!

All Music Guide Review by Thom Jurek

Delmark Records is more than an institution in the jazz and blues world. Founder and owner Bob Koester celebrated 55 years by issuing two collections of seminal blues and jazz recordings by artists across the spectrum of both genres. This double disc contains a CD with 17 cuts by legends and obscurities in the blues field: the late Junior Wells, Magic Sam, Syl Johnson, Roosevelt Sykes, Sleepy John Estes, J.B. Hutto, and Jimmy Dawkins are a few of the legends this set features. Add to this a killer little DVD of performances and recording studio footage from the likes of Carey and Lurrie Bell (separately), Byther Smith, and Tail Dragger, among others, and you have a terrific package that's made all the more so by a killer price point. Review by Jenell Kesler

Oh man, here we go again! Now I know that my head has been seriously bent by the blues, but I've always fancied that my feet were firmly rooted in the Mississippi mud, and the air I breathed was straight from the South Side of Chicago. And all of that was proven true when this flaming hot set was passed to me under the table, like some sort of illegal package ... and let me assure you that Delmark's '55 Years Of Blues' is so tasty it should be illegal.

But that's not where the confusion lies. When I got home and popped open this package, the dilemma hit me like two tons of red bricks. Disc One is composed of music by artists with whom Delmark has had a long and passionate relationship. While Disc Two is a DVD comprised of ten tracks that are nothing short of "smoking," with many of the performances going down at some of the best blues clubs around. So now you can see my dilemma ... do I want to just listen, or do I want to watch? Of course I opted to watch, and was hands down sure that I'd made the right decision. But that was before I dropped in the first disc and tried to kick back with my feet on the coffee table, and just listen; which proved all but impossible, as the tunes took hold of my feet and set them to dancing the night away. I tell you true, I love compilation material, it rolls with a different set of rules, each track jumping and sparking better than the last. So here I am, holding this package again, trying to deside weather I should listen or watch ... and I have no doubt that this dilemma will haunt me for the rest of my days.

The DVD is bright and clear. A great deal of effort has been taken to feature the artists doing what they do best, without making it all feel staged and processed. The music disc draws deeply from the Delmark catalog, floating seventeen tracks that are sure to please you time and time again. I've been around long enough to know the music of all the artists featured here intimately, but even I was pleasantly surprised at the songs chosen from this outing. Junior Wells jumps in with an unexpected version of "Little By Little," Jimmy Burns laid me flat with an ultra fine rendition of "Country Boy In The City," John Estes blisters with boogie woogie and piano jive courtesy of Sunnyland Slim on "I Ain't Gonna Sell It," and not to take a back seat to anyone, Zora Young steps out and owns "Till The Fat Lady Sings." Other artists include: Detroit Jr., Big Joe Williams, Willie Kent, Jimmy Dawkins, Magic Sam, Lurrie Bell, and a host of others who are not to be missed, or taken lightly.

There is not one single track that I would replace or skip when playing. '55 Years Of Blues' is a stunning release by Delmark Records [where, if they don't have it, you don't need it] who have devoted their lives to preserving and nurturing the blues.

Happy Anniversary my friends!!!

55 Years of Delmark Blues (CD and DVD)
Various Artists

1 Little by Little - Junior Wells 4:28
2 I Ain't Gonna Sell It - Sleepy John Estes 3:13
3 Call My Job -Detroit Jr. 4:27
4 Evening Train- J.B. Hutto 2:46
5 Suffering Mind -Barkin' Bill 3:55
6 Coffeehouse Blues -Big Joe Williams 3:25
7 Keep on Loving Me- Syl Johnson 4:44
8 Do You Love Me? -Willie Kent 4:47
9 Baby What You Want Me to Do -Bonnie Lee 4:21
10 Blue Mood -Floyd McDaniel 2:51
11 Fine & Brown [alternate take]- Roosevelt Sykes 2:58
12 I'll Be Your Mule -Steve Freund 4:26
13 Please Love Me -Otis Rush 3:39
14 The Right String But the Wrong Yo-Yo- Speckled Red 2:28
15 Feel So Bad -Jimmy Dawkins 7:37
16 Not for the Love of You -Shirley Johnson 3:07
17 I Don't Want No Woman- Magic Sam 3:02

18 Tend to Your Business [DVD] -Tail Dragger
19 Country Boy in the City [DVD] -Jimmy Burns
20 Baby Please Don't Go [DVD] -Lurrie Bell
21 Broke and Hungry [DVD] -Carey Bell
22 Judge of Honor [DVD] -Byther Smith
23 In Too Deep [DVD]- Dave Specter
24 Leaving Mississippi [DVD]- Little Arthur Duncan
25 Cool Twist [DVD] -Mississippi Heat
26 'Til the Fat Lady Sings [DVD] -Zora Young
27 My Head Is Bald [DVD] -Tail Dragger


New Sleepy John Estes Review, On 80 Highway - Featuring Previously unreleased 1974 recordings with the vastly underrated Hammie Nixon on harp, additional vocals, and Kazoo!


Men aren't the only cats who dig the blues, and Sleepy John gave women something to hang their hats on as well, though if you ask me what exactly that is ... I'm gonna shrug my shoulders, and just beg you to believe me.

There are alot of folks [self professed blues aficionados] out there who are going to try and tell you that 'On 80 Highway' John Estes doesn't produce with the emotional aspects and power found on his earlier albums ... but that could hardly be further from the truth. See, it's important to look at music with both your eyes and your ears, and here John has definitely captured a moment in time. That moment was 1974, just three short years before his death in 1977; the same year that Elvis Presley took his leave. What is important here is that Estes has taken a step back and forward at the same time, establishing an impeccable line between traditional songs, and how this music gets reworked and reinvented.

Listen, there's no way I'm gonna try and convince you that John Estes is a top flight blues guitar player ... what I am going to tell you is that John Estes is a real blues guitar player. This is a guy who sounded old when he was a youngster. With a wave of his hand [this bluesman, who had been lost and rediscovered, yet never really leaving Brownsville, and blind at the time of this recording] dismissed the technical shortcomings you may hear. 'Cryin' the Blues' is a term that gets tossed around with too much ease, but not with John Estes, who's playing is at times rough, and with the occasional bum chord, actually does cry the blues. But like a fine piece of furniture, complete with the knots and distresses, these aspects only go to make the music all the more real.

Now, Estes' shaky voice is weathered and worn, like comfortable sheets smoothed by years of use, and his emotional vocalizing does not need to be counter balanced in any manner. But Hammie Nixon, a long time friend and sidekick of John, provides exciting textures to the songs. His kazoo and harmonica work ranges from manic to reserved and subtle ... acting almost as a shadow for Sleepy John.

The stunning Delmark Record Label [where, if they don't have it, you don't need it] released this gem, which sounds both historical and fresh under their hand; bringing us seventeen previously unreleased tracks, that provide one of those precious hours that makes life worth while.


Check out the new Living Blues with a wonderful tribute article by Justin O'Brien to the late Little Arthur Duncan

2008 Living Blues Awards - Delmark Winners

The 2008 Living Blues Magazine Award Winners are In!

Delmark Artist Winners!

Lurrie Bell - Blues Artist of the Year (Critics and Readers' Poll)
Most Outstanding Musician (Guitar)

Bob Stroger - Most Outstanding Musician (Bass)

Kenny Smith (and WIllie Big Eyes Smith!) - Most Outstanding Musician (Drums) - Tie!

Robert Lockwood, Jr - Steady Rollin' Man - Historical Reissue of Year


- traditional Chicago Blues and Jazz with A FEELING!!

Look for more Delmark on vinyl early next year, including new releases and reissues!

Check out the Delmark MySpace page with photos, DVD trailers, and blogs!


GO OBAMA!!!!!!!

Kevin Johnson, Delmark promotions director
773 539 5001

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