June 13, 2024

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CD review: Hal Singer – Corn Bread: The Hal Singer Collection 1948-59 – 2023: Video, CD cover

Saxophonist, composer and bandleader Hal Singer was one of the jazz saxophonists of the 1940s who took advantage of the opportunity to make a commercial impact in the world of R&B during years when the “honking” style of jumping R&B was becoming especially popular, although he managed to keep in both camps, recording successfully both in R&B and jazz idioms.

This 44-track 2-CD collection comprises A & B sides and selected album tracks under his own name on the Savoy, Acorn, Mercury and Coral labels, plus the tracks from his Prestige album “Blue Stompin’”. It features his 1948 R&B No. 1 “Corn Bread” and his No. 11 from the following year, “Beef Stew”, which established the successful style primarily exhibited in this set, on which he records with the likes of Milt Larkins, Wynton Kelly, Sir Charles Thompson, Walter Page, Tyree Glenn, Milt Hinton, Sam ‘The Man’ Taylor, Kelly Owens, Mickey Baker, Leonard Gaskin and many more.

His album “Blue Stompin’”, however, was very much a jazz project and sees him recording in a quintet on some extended performances with Charlie Shavers, Ray Bryant, Wendell Marshall and Osie Johnson. It’s an entertaining showcase for his distinctive honking style, but also underlines his prowess as a jazz musician.

Disk 1:

1 Corn Bread Hal Singer Sextette
2 Plug For Cliff (To Cliff Holland Wook) Hal Singer Sextette
3 Rent Party Hal Singer
4 Singer Song Hal Singer
5 Rice And Red Beans Hal Singer
6 Swing Shift Hal Singer
7 Neck Bones Hal Singer
8 Blue Monday Caravan Sir Charles Thompson Allstars
9 Cooking With Cookie Sir Charles Thompson Allstars
10 Jiblets Hal Singer with Sir Charles Thompson Orch.
11 Disc Jockey Boogie Hal Singer with Sir Charles Thompson Orch.
12 Teddy’s Dream X-Rays
13 Beef Stew Hal Singer Sextette
14 One For Willie Hal Singer Sextette
15 Happy Days Hal Singer Sextette
16 Midnight Jump Hal Singer
17 Hot Bread Hal Singer
18 Loose Riff Hal Singer
19 Swanee River Hal Singer Sextette
20 Rock Around The Clock Hal Singer & His Orchestra
21 Fine As Wine Hal Singer & His Orchestra
22 Blue Velvet Hal “Cornbread” Singer
23 Buttermilk And Beans Hal “Cornbread” Singer
24 Miss Me Hal Singer
25 A Weaver Of Dreams Hal Singer
26 Easy Street Hal Singer
27 I Hear A Rhapsody Hal Singer

Disk 2:

1 Lonesome And Blue Hal Singer
2 I Love The Way You Love Me Hal Singer
3 Indian Love Call Hal Singer
4 The Frog Hop Hal Singer
5 Home Town Hal Singer
6 Easy Living Hal Singer
7 Hot Rod Hal Singer
8 Rock And Roll Hal Singer
9 Mr. Movin’s Groovin’ (Hound’s Tooth) Hal Singer
10 Crossroads Hal Singer
11 Catnip Hal Singer & His Orchestra
12 The Blast Off Hal Singer Quintet
13 Wendy Hal Singer Quintet
14 Midnight Hal Singer Quintet
15 With A Song In My Heart Hal Singer Quintet
16 Fancy Pants Hal Singer Quintet
17 Blue Stompin’ Hal Singer Quintet

CORN BREAD: THE HAL SINGER COLLECTION 1948-59 CD

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