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Steppin' Out: Live At Ronnie Scott's, London (1990) - Memphis Slim (Peter Chatman)

    Featuring »

Memphis Slim (Peter Chatman)

    Tracklisting »
Health Shaking
  Date Performance: 1986-02-16, Running Time: 2:13
Mother Earth
  Date Performance: 1986-02-16, Running Time: 4:44
  Comments: Songwriting credit just given to Memphis Slim on this album's version.
Rock This House Tonight
  Date Performance: 1986-02-16, Running Time: 3:32
If You See Kay
  Date Performance: 1986-02-16, Running Time: 6:39
Feel So Good
  Date Performance: 1986-02-16, Running Time: 3:13
Tribute To Gaillard
  Date Performance: 1986-02-16, Running Time: 4:54
Four Hundred Years
  Date Performance: 1986-02-16, Running Time: 4:36
Steppin' Out
  Date Performance: 1986-02-16, Running Time: 1:59
  Comments: Songwriting credit given to Memphis Slim on this album's version. Therefore, publishing listed on this album's version as "Chat-Tone Music".
Baby Please Come Home
  Date Performance: 1986-02-16, Running Time: 1:34
Where Do I Go From Here
  Date Performance: 1986-02-16, Running Time: 3:35
Didn't We
  Date Performance: 1986-02-16, Running Time: 3:24
  Date Performance: 1986-02-16, Running Time: 3:29
  Date Performance: 1986-02-16, Running Time: 2:52
Beer Drinking Woman
  Date Performance: 1986-02-16, Running Time: 3:20
What Is This World Coming To?
  Date Performance: 1986-02-16, Running Time: 3:45
Bye Bye Blues
  Date Performance: 1986-02-16, Running Time: 2:08
    Guest Appearances »

Danny Adler, Bob Brunning, George Collier, Slim Gaillard, Paul Jones

    Released »


    Format »

Import Vinyl/CD Album

    Other Appearances »
James C. Bracken (Songwriter), Memphis Slim (Peter Chatman) (Songwriter), Lewis Simpkins (Songwriter), David Lands (Liner Notes), Stephen Cleary (Directed By), Robert Lemkin (Directed By), Stephen Cleary (Produced By), Robert Lemkin (Produced By), Henry Crallan (Mixed By)

    Record Label »
Castle Communications

    Catalogue Number »

ESMCD 016 (CD) ESMMC 016 (Cassette)

    Running Time »


    Liner Notes »

Only a handful of American blues artists have gained the financial rewards that come with international success. Memphis Slim was one of those elite performers. His brand of blues runs the gamut from R&B to folk-and, after experiencing the warm welcome given to him and his co-stars on the blues boom package tours of the early Sixties, he decided to settle in Europe.

His recording career began in the late Forties with his band, the House Rockers, when he enjoyed Billboard R&B chart status with 'Blue And Lonesome' and 'Angel Child', both recorded for Miracle Records of Chicago. This live set, recorded in London at Ronnie Scott's in 1986, finds him in reflective mood, covering all aspects of his prolific output and ably backed by a quartet of British blues stalwarts.

'Mother Earth' has proved a perennial favourite, having been recorded several times since the original Premier label version was cut in 1950. The 1959 Vee-Jay and Bluesville recordings are the better-known renditions due to their general availability - but since Chess Records have acquired the rights to the Premium masters, the listener can now compare all three versions with this live rendition. Slim sings with feeling a truly moving piece of blues-writing that hits home with some tight support from his band.

Ex-Manfred Mann frontman Paul Jones brings his Chicago-styled blues harmonica to the bandstand as guitar and electric bass help recreate memories of those house-rocking rhythm and blues days. 'Rock This House Tonight' has nothing to do with rock'n'roll, as all blues fans know - and Slim puts this fact across in no uncertain terms, his delivery abounding in sly humour and underlined with fleet-fingered runs that almost ignite the keys. Jones also helps out most effectively on the lonesome sound of 'Four Hundred Years'.

'Steppin' Out', the title track of our set, originates from the same Vee-Jay sessions as 'Mother Earth': Slim uses it to rest his vocal chords and display his undeniable talents as a pianist as he attempts to destroy the piano! Drummer George Collier maintains a steady backbeat as ever, pacing th leader's expertise on this attacking number.

'If You See Kay' is a song that really needs to be heard to fully appreciate the song's true meaning. Slim speaks his very clever lyrics over some delicate plucked guitar that tells an amusing love story with the pianoman's feelings summed up so well in the song's title. The immortal Muddy Waters is remembered with 'Feel So Good', while the inimitable Slim Gaillard joins the proceedings for a four-handed piano workout on the suitably titled 'Tribute To Gaillard'.

'Baby Please Come Home' quickly establishes a rapport that allows Slim to open up his world of blues. The pertinent question 'Where Do I Go From Here' is punctuated by typically thundering chords and deft right-hand touches that underwrite his unique style. The mood becomes intimate wtih 'Didn't We' as the big man exercises his keyboard mastery before bringing his romantic side to bear with 'Christina', his sensitive ivory caresses making this tune all the more tender.

'Beer Drinking Woman', a popular number from a 1959 Folkways session, is resurrected and imbued with all the humour of the original. This jovial mood continues, to the delight of the audience, on 'Animal' before some serious philosophising on 'What Is This World Coming To?' and a joyous 'Bye Bye Blues' bring this fine show to a rousing end.

Memphis Slim died in 1988 in Paris, where he had made his home. Regrettably, the world will never enjoy the likes of a bluesman of his stature again ... but you can, with this fine recording.

David Lands

Mixed at Milo Music

With Paul Jones & Slim Gaillard

Recorded live at Ronnie Scott's, London

Also availbale on videocassette Cat No. HEN 2 039

Other titles available in this "Live At Ronnie Scott's London" series:
Taj Mahal ESMCD 002 (CD) ESMMC 002 (Cassette) HEN 2 161 (Videocassette)
Curtis Mayfield ESMCD 003 (CD) ESMMC 003 (Cassette) HEN 2 151 (Videocassette)
Nina Simone ESMCD 013 (CD) ESMMC 013 (Cassette) HEN 2 017 (Videocassette)
Art Blakey & The Jazz Massengers ESMCD 014 (CD) ESMMC 014 (Cassette) HEN 2 019 (Videocassette)
Chet Baker ESMCD 015 (CD) ESMMC 015 (Cassette) HEN 2 044 (Videocassette)
Roy Ayers ESMCD 017 (CD) ESMMC 017 (Cassette) HEN 2 162 (Videocassette)
Chico Freeman ESMCD 018 (CD) ESMMC 018 (Cassette) HEN 2 041 (Videocassette)
Anita O'Day ESMCD 019 (CD) ESMMC 019 (Cassette) HEN 2 040 (Videocassette)

All tracks licensed from (P) 1985 Wadham Film Ltd.
(C) 1990 Castle Communications PLC
Units 15/16
Northfields Prospect
Putney Bridge Road
SW18 1PE

Essential! Records

WARNING: Copyright subsists in all recordings issued under this label. All rights of the producer and of the owner of the work reproduced reserved. Any unauthorised broadcasting, public performance, copying or re-recording thereof in any manner whatsoever of this record prohibited and will constitute an infringement of such copyright. In the United Kingdom, licenses for the use of recordings for public performance many be obtained from Phonographic Performance Ltd., Ganton House, 14-22 Ganton Street, London, W1V JLB.

Made in France

Compact Disc Digital Audio

5 013428 75 2

    Reviews »
Add your review here.

Variation & sound quality could be better
Review written by John Fitzgerald, May 14th, 2005

Like it's video companion release, "Live at Ronnie Scott's" suffers from sound quality drop outs as at times you will find it incredibly hard to hear what is being said or played and at other times like the chunky piano stabs and harmonica howls will overpower all else that is playing along side it. What is being played is well handled though, as a whole, this may seem somewhat unadventurous. The video release has some tracks not included here and vice versa but I'll just concentrate on what is on the CD version here. We open and close with some good shuffles, the promising opener is "Health shaking" and the clapping closer, aptly, is "Bye bye blues" and there are some other interesting swinging shuffles like "Feel so good" featuring the work of Danny Adler's guitar and Paul Jones' harp parts and "Didn't we" which is nicely restrained while "Four hundred years" is one of the better moments as it starts and ends with tapping on the side of the piano for rhythm joined by Jones' harmonica again in a most gripping and heartfelt way and then it kicks in to a rocking swing in the middle section. Other highlights are the well handled chunky plink of "Steppin' out" and another instrumental called "Tribute to Gallard" (& Slim Gallard makes a guest appearance here, also on the piano stool in this boogie woogie piece). Other boogie numbers are the fast "Rock this house tonight", the crowd clapping "Baby please don't go" and the punchy shouter "Animal". This leaves us with the slow burners which can be entertaining such as the "play on words that sounding like letters" with the introduction of "If you see Kay", the soulful "Beer drinking woman", the fair "Mother earth" and the quiet meaningful "Christina". You hear, presumably, Brunning's bass part noticeably louder on "What is this world coming to" than on the other tracks and "Where do I go from here" is a little draggy but all in all the performances can work well on individual plays and if you have the patience and freedom to listen to this loud, it may please you more than expected.

    Last Modified »
    Tracklisting »
Discography entry submitted by Anders Linnartsson & Jeff Kenney.