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Monday, January 19, 2009

Delmark Records Update

Delmark Records Ramblings for the New Year- New Releases, Koester vs. Kanye, Return of Rockin' Johnny

Hello good friends of Delmark,

We're wishin' you a Happy New Year and hope you do fine and shine in '09!
Hey, check out the new issue of Signal To Noise and the November JAZZIZ, both with features on Delmark and Bob Koester celebrating our 55th Anniversary! Signal to Noise's Pete Gershon wrote up a very interesting, entertaining, and in depth article on Senor Koester and his life in the record "biz." Thank you, Pete! In the JAZZIZ piece written by Michael Jackson, Koester declares "They used to call me ornery, now I'm honorary!"

We're excited to announce our new jazz and blues releases for 2009

NEW Delmark Jazz and Blues Releases for the new year!

Street Date : Feb 17, 2009

Shirley Johnson

Blues Attack Delmark DE 798 (CD)

"Raised in the church but evidently born to sing the blues, Shirley Johnson belts like a spiritual daughter of Koko Taylor, flexing her husky voice on ballads and up-tempo love songs, hitting gravel when she reaches for a higher note or pushes her volume." -Ted Drozdowski, PULSE! from a review of Shirley's first Delmark CD Killer Diller (Delmark 757)

"Shirley Johnson sings with a rare sensitivity, particularly on the ballads. But there is no mistaking her for being passive: The lady still possesses a lot of gusto in her delivery." - James Porter, Time Out Chicago

Shirley is back with that same blend of traditional good-rockin' Chicago blues, smoldering R&B and poppin' soul. Almost all of the 14 songs on Blues Attack are new original compositions by various musicians on the CD and also great covers of classics "Unchain My Heart" and "634-5789".


Rob Mazurek Quintet

Sound Is Delmark DE 586 (CD)

Jazz cornetist Rob Mazurek consistently pushes beyond the expectations of his listeners, drawing together ideas out of sound, personalities out of space, and fusing color and light into the tones of his music. The debut record of this new quintet, featuring John Herndon on drums (Tortoise, the For Carnation), Matthew Lux on bass guitar (Isotope 217, Iron and Wine) Josh Abrams on acoustic bass (Town and Country, Black Earth Ensemble) and Jason Adasiewicz on vibes (Loose Assembly, Rolldown) pulls together an astounding array of personalities into a seamless and effervescent whole. Sound Is features 14 new Mazurek compositions.

"Originally rooted in the tradition of hard bop jazz, cornetist Rob Mazurek developed into one of the most consistently exciting pure improvisers of his time. As a founding member of the multi-faceted Chicago Underground collective and the 21st century fusion outfit Isotope 217, his playing has redefined musical boundaries through vibrant sonic palettes that defy categorization." - Nathan Bush, All Music Guide

Rob Mazurek (born Jersey City, NJ 1965) is a sound/vision abstractivist, cornetist, improviser, composer and multi-media artist with a unique style drawing from many facets of contemporary and non-contemporary sound and vision. A prime mover in the vibrant Chicago sound scene, he is the leader/organizer of the Exploding Star Orchestra, Chicago Underground collective, Mandarin Movie and Sao Paulo Underground.

Red Holloway
Go Red Go! Delmark DE 585 (CD)

featuring Chris Foreman and George Freeman

Red Holloway is one of the greatest tenor sax players in the history of jazz, period. There's an upper echelon of players like Cannonball, Golson, Moody, Stitt, Griffin and, of course, Red. The ageless Red is unbelievably in his early 80's now, so it would be impossible to review his career in one short paragraph. On Go Red Go, Holloway returns home to Chicago where he grew up and gets down with some good, greasy organ combo music. Wonderful accompaniment from Chris Foreman, Hammond B3 organ, George Freeman, guitar and Greg Rockingham, drums. Great blend of straight ahead jazz, blues and ballads.

"Gritty, sweat streaked, bluesy tenor saxophone is an essential ingredient in what's come to be known as soul jazz, and tenor man James "Red" Holloway was seducing crowds with that sound well before "soul" was a term people applied to popular music." John Corbett, Chicago Reader
Red's MySpace -


Garvin Bushell
and friends

One Steady Roll Delmark DE 250 (CD)

Jazz clarinetist Garvin Bushell's 1988 autobiography is rightly titled "Jazz From the Beginning". Bushell recorded with great pianists -- James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, Willie "The Lion" Smith, Jelly Roll Morton -- and with important swing orchestras, such as those led by Fletcher Henderson, Cab Calloway and Chick Webb. In mid-century Bushell recorded with many of the period's greatest jazz names, including John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Gil Evans, and King Curtis.
This 1982 session features Garvin Bushell, clarinet, bassoon; Richard Hadlock, soprano sax; Ray Skjelbred, piano; Stu Wilson, bass; John Markham, drums; Leon Oakley, cornet; Barbara Lashley, vocals on 3 songs.

"Although best known as a jazz soloist and sideman, Bushell also played oboe and bassoon with symphony orchestras and was a highly regarded instructor of woodwinds. In Jazz from the Beginning, Bushell vividly recounts his musical experiences, featuring candid assessments of the legends with whom he performed as well as eye-opening accounts of the early days of jazz and the racism that he encountered on the road. Based on a series of interviews conducted by jazz scholar Mark Tucker, these memoirs provide a colorful account of Bushell's extraordinary life and career as well as an important record of seventy years of America's musical history.- from preview of Bushell's autobiography, Jazz from the Beginning


Delmark nominees for National Blues Music Awards and Chicago Music Awards

2009 30th National Blues Music Awards!!

Congrats to Delmark nominees:

** Little Arthur Duncan - Live at Rosa's Lounge - DVD of the year!! (rest in peace, Arthur - we miss you dearly!)

** Sleepy John Estes - On Highway 80 - Historical Album of the year!

** Bob Stroger - Bassist of the year!

** Kenny Smith and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith - Drummer (s) of year!

** Lurrie Bell - Guitarist of the year!

** Tad Robinson - Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year!

** Lurrie Bell - Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year!

Blues Foundation presents 2009 National Blues Music Awards

30th Blues Music Awards -(formerly the Handy Awards)
Thursday, May 7, 2009 in Memphis, TN
Cook Convention Center, 255 N. Main, Memphis, TN


Nominees for 2009 Chicago Music Awards

The 28th Annual Chicago Music Awards


- Sunday January 18, 2009 at the

PARK WEST : 322 West Armitage Avenue : Chicago, Illinois
DELMARK nominees!

** Jimmy Burns- best blues entertainer
** Byther Smith - Blues on the Moon -best blues recording
** Ari Brown - best jazz entertainer
** Ari Brown - Live at the Green Mill - best jazz recording
** Corey Wilkes - Drop It - best jazz recording
** Bob Koester, Sr. Delmark - record producer of the year
** Delmark Records - record label of the year
** Mississippi Heat - most outstanding band or group

Look who Bob Koester is running against for producer of year: Koester vs. Kanye!

35) Record Producer of the Year..........
Andre Maneses
Bob Koester, Sr. - Delmark Records
Kanye West
Nael Shehade- ForceOneSeven
R. Kelly


Hey Cadillac Records Fans
- Little Walter's pre-Chess, early recordings on Delmark with Muddy Waters!

Did you know that some of the earliest recorded sides of the best harmonica player of all time are on Delmark? (including Little Walter on guitar!!!)

The Blues World of Little Walter -
Little Walter, Muddy Waters, Baby Face Leroy Foster, Jimmy Rogers, J.B.Lenoir, Sunnyland Slim, and more
Delmark Records - DD 648, 1988
(recorded Jan 1950-Oct 22, 1951)

Did you also know that our friends Billy Flynn, Eddie Taylor, Jr, Barrelhouse Chuck , along with Kim Wilson provided the music to this major motion picture?


THE RETURN OF ROCKIN' JOHNNY!!! Can he re-claim his title as the Modern King of the West Side Chicago Blues Guitar!

Welcome back Good Rockin' Johnny Burgin to the Chicago Blues scene! Saturday, Jan 10 - Nick's, 1516 N. Milwaukee, Chicago

Our good friend, Johnny Burgin, one of the best Chicago blues guitarists we've ever heard, has resurfaced after way too long of an absence. Yeah, he's back, and ready to turn heads again and fill up the blues dance floor. With his encyclopedic knowledge, and impeccable taste, and true feeling of postwar Chicago Blues, Johnny can be devastatingly good in a live setting. Burgin's singing is also damn good and really complements both his sensitive and powerful guitar playing. This guy plays originals and classics and can quote from so many guitarist's guitarists, like Luther Tucker, Jimmy Dawkins, Eddie Taylor, Fenton Robinson, Willie James Lyons, Bobby King, Hip Linkchain, Hubert Sumlin, etc. Come out and give him a warm welcome this Saturday, January 10th, 2009 at Nick's on Milwaukee in Wicker Park, Chicago. Johnny's ready to pour out his real life blues for his eager fans who have been waiting, wondering, missing...

Johnny will have the amazingly talented Billy Flynn on guitar (and harp), and legendary smilin' Bob Stroger on bass, and Rob Lorenz on drums.

from Rockin' Johnny's MySpace

Johnny Burgin moved to Chicago to attend the University of Chicago in the late 1980's, but began playing blues in all the black clubs in town, backing Taildragger, Big Smokey Smothers and many other characters.

Eventually, Rockin' Johnny and the Lazy Boyz (with the tremendously talented Martin Lange on harp) became basically the modern equivalent of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Except, in this writer's humble opinion, Johnny was a far more-accomplished west side slinger than Bloomfield. In the 1990's there was no one who worked more, or harder, or played more varied or deeper west side Chicago blues in town.

Johnny was a highly in-demand session player (similar to Robert Jr. Lockwood in his heyday) on some great recordings for Delmark and other labels, as well as being an admired hero to many budding young guitarists on the scene.

Unfortunately, a few years ago he mysteriously vanished from the Windy City and fell into obscurity, one guesses, to raise a family (?). The gap he left in the blues world still has not been filled and probably never will.

We can only hope that he will re-emerge someday and re-claim his title as the Modern King of the West Side Chicago Blues Guitar!


Have you heard of our friend Steve Krakow, aka Plastic Crimewave and his incredibly entertaining Secret History of Chicago Music "comic strip?"
Guitar hero, and Delmark artist Jimmy Dawkins, will be featured soon on this great document of "pivotal Chicago musicians that somehow have not gotten their just dues"
Other Delmark recording artists who have been featured are: Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre, Syl Johnson, Mighty Joe Young, Magic Sam, Muhal Richard Abrams!


Rest in Peace Robert Ward, Master of the Magnatone!
Robert Ward - Unsung hero of soul and blues
Here is some YouTube video footage of Robert Ward at Delmark's Riverside Studio from Delmark's 50th Anniversary DVD, currently out of print. (part of the 50th Anniv BLues and Jazz Box set)

Robert Ward , New Role Soul
Delmark DE-741 from 2000

Robert Ward's singing has the urgency and immediacy of the great southern soul singers, and his guitar playing is legendary in the history of blues and soul. Possessed of a playing style so unique, Robert's sound is instantly recognizable. He pioneered the use of the Magnatone amplifier on his '60s singles and backed The Falcons, featuring Wilson Pickett, on "I Found a Love" one of the most inspired Soul records of all time. Robert did session work at Motown and is on the Temptations' All Directions album (which included "Papa Was A Rolling Stone"). Robert was off the scene until he was re-discovered in 1991. He toured entensively, came out with three albums and won over many new fans. Soul. Truth. Power. Love. Conviction. New Role Soul -- The positive message all rolled up into an undeniable, dynamic groove.

Kevin Johnson
Delmark Records, director of promotions
773-539-5001 office
773-539-5004 fax
Blues and Jazz since 1953!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A tribute! YEA! Love Jazz! It's a sound that keeps the music world grounded. Shirley Johnson is one of my favorites. The gal has a husky voice that reaches high notes with ease. Getting into recording connection takes a passion for the music world. You want into the recording industry, get trained under a professional on real gigs. and start the networking process on day one.