Saturday, April 16, 2011

VINYL-PALOOZA #5: Slaughter on Central Avenue!!

As a companion to the collection I posted a couple of days ago, "Hollywood Stomp," here's another album of old recordings dealing with Los Angeles, but this time it's every song I could find that mentions L.A.'s Central Ave scene, either by title or in the lyrics. These jazz and/or blues tunes are primarily from the 1940s-early '50s, and swing and rock like crazy, dad, crazy. The vocal numbers often feature humorous hep-cat lyrics, and the instrumentals are smokin', e.g.: the absolutely berserk piano on the Lionel Hampton cut.

Many of the Central Ave all-stars are present and accounted for here, from a pre-crooner Nat King Cole in his earlier role as piano instrumentalist, to proto-rocker Big Joe Turner, of "Shake Rattle & Roll" fame. The madcap Slim Gaillard (also featured on "Hollywood Stomp") drops by to pay tribute, as well.

The Ave. is a pretty ordinary-to-dodgy place now, but you can still visit the Dunbar Hotel (pictured) where visiting royalty like Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington stayed when they were in town. And you can hit the annual Central Ave Jazz Festival.

Johnny Moore & The
Three Blazers featuring Billy Valentine - L.A. Blues
Slim Gaillard And His Boogiereeneers - Central Avenue Boogie
Pee Wee Crayton - Central Ave Blues
Nat King Cole - Central Avenue Boogie
Crown Prince Waterford - L.A. Blues
Pete Johnson - Central Avenue Drag
Big Joe Turner - Blues On Central Avenue
Lionel Hampton - Central Avenue Breakdown
Private Cecil Gant - Midnight on Central Ave
Herbie Haymer Quintet - Swinging On Central
R. Green & Turner - Central Avenue Blues
Dee Williams Sextette - Central Avenue Hop
Edward "The Great" Gates - Central Rocks

1 comment:

Dirk Bill said...

Private Cecil Gant?!? Please re-post this!