Riley B. King

b. September 16th, 1925 in Itta Bena (Mississippi)

d. May 14th, 2015 in Las Vegas (Nevada)

1949 - 1952

Classics

June 1949 - January 1952

Fils des métayers Albert Lee et Nora Elle King, Riley nait dans une plantation de coton. Quand sa mère tombe malade, il est élevé par sa grand-mère Elnora Farr. Comme beaucoup de futurs bluesmen, il connait ses premiers émois musicaux à l'église. Il apprend la guitare en autodidacte et écoute avec passion l'émission radiophonique King Biscuit Time qui passe sur KFFA. Ses principales influences en matière de guitare sont Lonnie Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charlie Christian et T-Bone Walker. En 1943, il épouse Martha Denton (ils divorceront en 1952). Riley suit son cousin Bukka White à Memphis. Pendant plusieurs mois, White lui apprend les rudiments de l'instrument en jouant dans les clubs de la ville, au Handy Park ou sur Beale Street. De retour dans le Mississippi, il poursuit son apprentissage de la musique. En 1948, il joue aux côtés de "Sonny Boy" Williamson pour la radio KWEM. Puis, il devient chanteur puis disc-jockey pour la radio WDIA. Au sein de cette radio, on lui donne le surnom de Beale Street Blues Boy bientôt raccourci en Blues Boy (et devient le B.B. que tout le monde connait). Il démarre sa carrière discographique pour Bullet, un petit label basé à Nashville. Pour celui-ci, il grave 4 morceaux en juin 1949 ("Miss Martha King", "Take a swing with me") dans le studio WDIA. Malheureusement, ils ne remporteront aucun succès. Ce CD rassemble ses premières séances pour Bullet puis pour RPM et offre un panorama très convaincant du début de carrière de B.B. King et de la mise en place de son style.

Son of the sharecroppers Albert Lee and Nora Elle King, Riley is born in a cotton plantation. When his mother falls ill, he is brought up by his grandmother Elnora Farr. Like many future bluesmen, he knows his first musical emotions in church. He learns the guitar as an autodidact and listens passionately the King Biscuit Time radio show on KFFA. His main influences on guitar are Lonnie Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charlie Christian and T-Bone Walker. In 1943, he married Martha Denton (they will divorce in 1952). Riley follows his cousin Bukka White in Memphis. For several months, White teaches him the rudiments of the instrument playing in the clubs of the city, at Handy Park or on Beale Street. Back in Mississippi, he continued his learning of music. In 1948, he played alongside "Sonny Boy" Williamson for KWEM radio. Then, he became a singer then a disc jockey for the radio WDIA. On the radio, he was given the nickname Beale Street Blues Boy soon shortened to Blues Boy (and becomes the B.B. that everyone knows). He began his recording career for Bullet, a small label based in Nashville. For this latter imprint, he cut 4 sides in june 1949 ("Miss Martha King", "Take a swing with me") in the WDIA studio. Unfortunately, they will not be successful. This CD brings together first sessions for Bullet then for RPM and offers a very convincing overview of B.B. King's early career and the implementation of his style.

SINGIN' THE BLUES

Crown

Ace

United

P-Vine

September 1951 - December 1955

Quelques mois après ses premiers titres chez Bullet, il signe un contrat d'enregistrement avec la firme californienne RPM (détenue par Modern). Dès juillet 1950, il enchaine plusieurs superbes séances à Memphis (dont certaines sous la supervision de Sam Phillips) puis à Los Angeles. "Three o'clock blues" est un immense succès qui fait de B.B. King un des artistes préférés du public. Mais, d'autres magnifiques morceaux voient le jour lors de ces premières séances : "You upset me baby", "Everyday I have the blues", "Sweet little angel" sont tous devenus des classiques du Blues. S'inspirant du Rhythm & Blues en vogue de Louis Jordan ou de Wynonie Harris, il chante d'une voix chaude et souple, sa guitare possède un son délicat et velouté. Il est accompagné d'une section cuivres remarquable d'abord sous la houlette de l'arrangeur Bill Harvey puis surtout de Maxwell Davis. Edité au printemps 1957, il s'agit d'un des premiers LPs de Blues.

A few months after his first titles at Bullet, he signed a recording contract with the California firm RPM (owned by Modern). Since july 1950, he carries on several great sessions in Memphis (some under the supervision of Sam Phillips) and then in Los Angeles. "Three o'clock blues" is a huge success that makes B.B. King one of the favorite artists of the public. But, other beautiful songs are born during these first sessions : "You upset me baby", "Everyday I have the blues", "Sweet little angel" have all become Blues classics. Inspired by the successful Louis Jordan or Wynonie Harris Rhythm & Blues, he sings in a warm and supple voice, his guitar has a delicate and velvety sound. He is accompanied by a remarkable horn section first under the direction of arranger Bill Harvey and then especially by Maxwell Davis. Issued in spring 1957, it is one of the first Blues LPs.

THE BLUES

Crown

Ace

United

P-Vine

September 1951 - January 1958

Recueil de titres pour RPM et Kent (deux labels dirigés par les frères Bihari tout comme Crown). Encore une fois, le programme apparait très dense avec de superbes pépites : "Why do everything happen to me", "When my heart beats like a hammer", "Early in the morning", "What can I do". B.B. King brille au chant et à la guitare et son orchestre le soutient merveilleusement (il compte dans ses rangs Maxwell Davis, Kenneth Sands, Calvin Owens, Johnny Board).

Collection of tracks for RPM and Kent (two labels directed by the Bihari brothers as well as Crown). Again, the program appears very dense with stunning gems : "Why do everything happen to me", "When my heart beats like a hammer", "Early in the morning", "What can I do". B.B. King shines on singing and guitar and his band supports him wonderfully (Maxwell Davis, Kenneth Sands, Calvin Owens, Johnny Board).

B.B. KING

Crown

Ace

United

THE SOUL OF B.B. KING

United

Ace

Bellaphon

Custom

1952 - June 1961

Ici, le contenu est un peu moins dense que dans les autres recueils Crown. La sélection pioche dans diverses séances réparties sur une dizaine d'années. On peut y trouver quelques pistes intéressantes comme "Going home" ou l'instrumental "Boogie rock". Ce LP fut également édité sous le nom "The soul of B.B. King" par United et Custom (également des labels détenus par les frères Bihari). Dans la version allongée, on note aussi une belle reprise de "Eyesight to the blind" (une composition de "Sonny Boy" Williamson) et le remarquable "Green and lucky blues".

Here, the content is a little less dense than in other Crown collections. The selection picks in various sessions spread over a decade. You can find some interesting tracks like "Going home" or the instrumental "Boogie rock". This LP was also issued by United and Custom (also labels owned by the Bihari brothers) under the name "The Soul of B.B. King". In the extended version, there is also a beautiful cover of "Eyesight to the blind" (a composition of "Sonny Boy" Williamson) and the remarkable "Green and lucky blues".

THE GREAT B.B. KING

Crown

United

Bellaphon

Ace

February 1954 - October 1959

Ce recueil débute par le chef d'oeuvre "Sweet sixteen", une des meilleures compositions de B.B. King (en fait adaptée d'un morceau de Walter Davis). Mais, le programme est riche en grands moments : "I'm gonna quit my baby", "Someday somewhere" (avec Onzie Horne au vibraphone), "Ten long years". Dans la version allongée, il faut signaler une immense version de "Trouble in mind" dans laquelle B.B. est impérial à la guitare. On notera qu'en 1958, il épouse sa seconde femme Sue Carol Hall. Le couple s'installe à Los Angeles.

This collection begins with the masterpiece "Sweet sixteen", one of the best compositions of B.B. King (actually adapted from a track of Walter Davis). But, the program is rich in highlights : "I'm gonna quit my baby", "Someday somewhere" (with Onzie Horne in vibraphone), "Ten long years". In the extended version, we must mention an immense version of "Trouble in mind" in which B.B. is imperial on guitar. Note that in 1958, he married his second wife Sue Carol Hall. The couple moved to Los Angeles.

MORE B.B. KING

Crown

Ace

United

P-Vine

BLUES FOR ME

United

December 1954 - June 1961

Passé maitre dans le Rhythm & Blues cuivré parfaitement chanté et arrangé, B.B. King propose une nouvelle série de pépites où brille sa guitare : "Get out of here", "Shut your mouth", "You're breaking my heart", "Ain't that just like a woman".

Became a master in brassy Rhythm & Blues perfectly sung and arranged, BB King offers a new series of nuggets where his guitar shines : "Get out of here", "Shut your mouth", "You're breaking my heart", "Ain't that just like a woman".

LET ME LOVE YOU

Kent

United

December 1955 - 1962

En plus des nombreux recueils Crown, les frères Bihari publièrent également plusieurs sélections sous la bannière Kent avec des morceaux de B.B. King. Il s'agit donc d'un mélange assez inégal de morceaux pour RPM et pour Kent. Néanmoins, on peut y trouver une jolie reprise de "Driving wheel" ainsi que les superbes "Troubles don't last" et "You're gonna miss me".

In addition to the many Crown collections, the Bihari brothers also published several selections under the Kent banner with tracks by B.B. King. This is a fairly uneven mix of pieces for RPM and Kent. Nevertheless, you can find a nice cover of "Driving wheel" as well as the beautiful "Troubles don't last" and "You're gonna miss me".

THE JUNGLE

Kent

United

Ace

ROCK ME BABY

Ace

September 1956 - December 1965

Comme pour "Let me love you", il s'agit d'un recueil édité sous la marque Kent qui appartenait aux frères Bihari. On peut ressortir "The worst thing in my life" mais aussi des titres issus de sa dernière séance pour RPM-Kent en décembre 1965 (les remarquables versions de "Five long years" et de "Eyesight to the blind").

As for "Let me love you", this is a collection issued under the Kent imprint that belonged to the Bihari brothers. We can point out "The worst thing in my life" but also titles from his last RPM-Kent session in december 1965 (the remarkable versions of "Five long years" and "Eyesight to the blind").

BLUES RARITIES

Chess - MCA

May 1958

En mai 1958, il enregistre une poignée de titres pour Chess sous la houlette de Paul Gayten à Miami. Les 4 morceaux gravés lors de cette séance ne sont pas restés dans les mémoires : "Don't keep me waiting", "Recession blues", "Tickle britches", "Don't break your promise". Ces morceaux seront revendus à Kent.

In may 1958, he recorded a handful of titles for Chess under the supervision of Paul Gayten in Miami. The 4 tracks engraved during this session did not remain in memories : "Don't keep me waiting", "Recession blues", "Tickle britches", "Don't break your promise". These pieces will be resold to Kent.

B.B. KING WAILS

Crown

Ace

I LOVE YOU SO

United

January - April 1959

Une sélection intéressante de titres parfois mineurs, parfois méconnus, issus de l'épais catalogue Modern-RPM : "Sweet thing", "I've got papers on you baby", "Treat me right". On trouve aussi quelques ballades entre Doo-Wop et Rhythm & Blues qui paraissent un peu surannées aujourd'hui. Dans la version allongée, il faut écouter aussi "You've been an angel" et le superbe "Why I sing the blues".

An interesting selection of sometimes minor titles, sometimes unknown, from the thick Modern-RPM catalog : "Sweet thing", "I've got papers on you baby", "Treat me right". There are also some ballads between Doo-Wop and Rhythm & Blues that seem a bit outdated today. In the extended version, you should also listen to "You've been an angel" and the superb "Why I sing the blues".

THE STEREOPHONIC SOUND OF COUNT BASIE

Bright Orange

COMPOSITIONS OF COUNT BASIE AND OTHERS

Crown

March 1959

En compagnie de l'orchestre du jazzman Count Basie, B.B. King - uniquement chanteur - interprète le classique "Everyday I have the blues".

In the company of Count Basie's jazz orchestra, B.B. King - only singer - performs the classic "Everyday I have the blues".

SINGS SPIRITUALS

Crown

Ace

United

P-Vine

DOIN' MY THING LORD

Kent

SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT

United

Trace

St Clair

April 1959

Ce disque est entièrement consacré aux spirituals et gospels. B.B. King n'y joue pas de guitare se concentrant sur le chant. Accompagné de son groupe régulier et d'une chorale, il chante quelques classiques du genre comme "Precious Lord", "Old time religion", "Swing low sweet chariot", "Army of the Lord". Il existe plusieurs rééditions et des versions augmentées. Intéressant mais mineur dans la discographie de B.B. King, à conseiller aux complétistes.

This disc is entirely devoted to spirituals and gospels. B.B. King does not play guitar focusing on singing. Accompanied by his regular group and a choir, he sings some classics like "Precious Lord", "Old time religion", "Swing low sweet chariot", "Army of the Lord". There are several reissues and augmented versions. Interesting but minor in the discography of B.B. King to advise to completists.

COMPOSITIONS OF DUKE ELLINGTON

Crown

February 1960

Uniquement chanteur, B.B. King interprète le "Don't get around much anymore" du jazzman Duke Ellington accompagné de l'orchestre de Maxwell Davis.

Only singer, B.B King interprets jazzman Duke Ellington's "Don't get around much anymore" accompanied by the Maxwell Davis orchestra.

MY KIND OF BLUES

Crown

Ace

United

P-Vine

BETTER THAN EVER

Kent

Bellaphon

March 1960

Gravé en mars 1960 avec Lloyd Glenn (très inspiré au piano), Ralph Hamilton (basse) et Jesse Sailes (batterie). Ce petit groupe compact et homogène laisse beaucoup d'espace à la guitare de B.B. King. "You done lost your good thing now", "Someday baby", "Driving wheel", "My own fault", "Fishin' after me", "Sunny road", "Drifting blues" s'imposent comme de véritables chefs d'oeuvre. Selon son biographe Charles Sawyer, B.B. King considérait cet album comme son meilleur. Il s'agit clairement d'un album majeur. Comme beaucoup d'autres disques produits par les frères Bihari, il connut de nombreuses rééditions sous diverses marques (parfois sous le titre "Better than ever" qui ne reprend qu'une partie du programme).

Recorded in march 1960 with Lloyd Glenn (very inspired on piano), Ralph Hamilton (bass) and Jesse Sailes (drums). This compact and homogeneous small group leaves a lot of room for the guitar of B.B. King. "You done lost your good thing now", "Someday baby", "Driving wheel", "My own fault", "Fishin' after me", "Sunny road", "Drifting blues" are pure masterpieces. According to his biographer Charles Sawyer, B.B. King considered this album as his best. This is clearly a major album. Like many other records produced by the Bihari brothers, it has undergone numerous reissues under various imprints (sometimes under the title "Better than ever" which only compiles a part of the program).

KING OF THE BLUES

Crown

Ace

United

P-Vine

BETTER THAN EVER

Kent

Bellaphon

March - April 1960

Quelques jours après "My kind of blues", B.B. enregistre ce "King of the blues", cette fois avec la présence d'une section cuivres arrangée par Maxwell Davis. Il faut écouter les excellents "I've got a right to love my baby", "What way to go", "Long nights", "Partin' time". Dans la version augmentée, on peut ressortir aussi "That's how much you mean to me" et "Whole lot of lovin'". Ce recueil connut beaucoup de rééditions plus ou moins complètes ("Better than ever" ne reprenant qu'une partie du programme).

A few days after "My kind of blues", B.B. recorded this "King of the blues", this time with the presence of a brass section arranged by Maxwell Davis. It is necessary to listen to the excellent "I've got a right to love my baby", "What way to go", "Long nights", "Partin' time". In the augmented version, we can also point out "That's how much you mean to me" and "Whole lot of lovin'". This collection had many more or less complete re-issued (sometimes under the title "Better than ever" which only compiles a part of the program).

EASY LISTENING BLUES

Crown

Ace

United

P-Vine

March 1961

Séance entièrement instrumentale avec Maxwell Davis (orgue), Lloyd Glenn (piano), Ted Curry (batterie) et un bassiste resté anonyme. On apprécie ici pleinement le son de la guitare de B.B. King, sa technique et la richesse de son jeu : "Blues for me", "Night long", "Don't touch", "Hully Gully", "Really the blues" (avec les saxophones de Plas Johnson et de Bobby Forte).

Fully instrumental session with Maxwell Davis (organ), Lloyd Glenn (piano), Ted Curry (drums) and a bassist who remained anonymous. We really appreciate the sound of B.B. King guitar, his technique and the richness of his playing : "Blues for me", "Night long", "Don't touch", "Hully Gully", "Really the blues" (with the saxophones of Plas Johnson and Bobby Forte).

THE UNEXPECTED INSTRUMENTAL

Kent

KING OF THE BLUES GUITAR

Ace

June 1961

SPOTLIGHT ON LUCILLE

Ace

March 1960 - June 1961

A l'instar de "Easy listening blues", il s'agit d'un recueil compilant des morceaux instrumentaux - pour la plupart inédits - gravés pour Kent. On apprécie l'approche jazzy de "Blues with B.B.", le swingant "38th street blues", l'excellent "Just like a woman" ainsi que "Calypso jazz" et ses changements de rythme.

Like "Easy listening blues", it is a compilation of instrumental pieces - mostly unissued - engraved for Kent. We appreciate the jazzy approach "Blues with B.B.", the swinging "38th street blues", the excellent "Just like a woman" as well as "Calypso jazz" and its rhythm changes.

BLUES IN MY HEART

Crown

Ace

United

P-Vine

A HEART FULL OF BLUES

United

Custom

1961 - January 1962

La plupart des morceaux proviennent d'une séance fin 1961 / début 1962 (juste avant son départ pour ABC) à laquelle auraient participé Maxwell Davis et Plas Johnson. Un programme homogène intéressant avec quelques moments notables comme "Down hearted" ("How blue can you get").

Most of the songs come from a late 1961 / early 1962 session (just prior to his departure for ABC) that Maxwell Davis and Plas Johnson would have attended. An interesting homogeneous program with some notable moments like "Down hearted" ("How blue can you get").

MR BLUES

ABC - Paramount

Hip-O

March 1962 - April 1963

B.B. King signe avec ABC-Paramount, un label de New York, en janvier 1962, espérant pouvoir élargir son public et son succès mais les ventes baissèrent malgré quelques excellents disques. Ce premier disque - gravé entre mars 1962 et avril 1963 - regroupe, en fait, trois séances distinctes avec trois orchestres différents (ceux de Maxwell Davis, Belford Hendricks et de Teacho Wilshire). Placé sous la supervision du tandem de producteurs Sid Feller et Clyde Otis, le disque s'avère hétérogène et très inégal (la partie accompagnée par Maxwell Davis est largement la plus intéressante tandis que le reste est dévolu à des ballades surannées).

B.B. King signed with ABC-Paramount, a New York label, in january 1962, hoping to expand his audience and success, but sales fell despite some excellent recordings. This first disc, cut between march 1962 and april 1963, consists of three separate sessions with three different orchestras (Maxwell Davis, Belford Hendricks and Teacho Wilshire). Under the supervision of producers Sid Feller and Clyde Otis, the disc is heterogeneous and very uneven (the part played by Maxwell Davis is largely the most interesting, while the rest is devoted to old-fashioned ballads).

KING OF THE BLUES

MCA

September 1963 / February 1966 / November 1966 / June 1969 / September 1982 / January 1991

LIVE AT THE REGAL

ABC - Paramount

MCA

BGO

November 1964

Ce concert mythique donné au Regal Theatre - une salle du South Side de Chicago - en novembre 1964 a suscité un disque fondateur. En effet, celui-ci a influencé une génération entière de musiciens. En grande forme, B.B. King livre une performance au feeling irrésistible accompagné par un groupe exceptionnel (Kenneth Sands, Johnny Board, Bobby Forte, Duke Jethro, Leo Lauchie, Sonny Freeman). Le public très réactif apporte son énergie à cette ambiance surchauffée. "Sweet little angel", "It's my own fault", "How blue can you get", "You upset me baby", "Woke up this mornin'" sont simplement superbes. Un chef d'oeuvre indispensable à toute collection Blues.

This legendary concert given at the Regal Theater - a stage in the South Side of Chicago - in november 1964, gave rise to a founding disc. Indeed, this one influenced a whole generation of musicians. In great form, B.B. King delivers an irresistible performance accompanied by an exceptional group (Kenneth Sands, Johnny Board, Bobby Forte, Duke Jethro, Leo Lauchie and Sonny Freeman). The highly responsive public brings energy to this overheated atmosphere. "Sweet little angel", "It's my own fault", "How blue can you get", "You upset me baby", "Woke up this mornin'" are simply superb. A masterpiece essential to any Blues collection.

HIS BEST THE ELECTRIC B.B. KING

Bluesway

MCA

BGO

March 1965 - March 1968

Recueil de simples édités par ABC-Paramount entre 1965 et 1968. On y trouve les remarquables "Don't answer the door" et "Paying the cost to be the boss", le syncopé "Think it over", une excellente version de "Sweet sixteen" en public (disponible aussi dans la version longue de "Blues is king") ainsi que "Waitin' on you". On note qu'il y a aussi les morceaux du film "For the love of Ivy" composés en compagnie de Quincy Jones et de Maya Angelou ("The B.B. Jones", l'instrumental "Messy but good").

A collection of singles issued by ABC-Paramount between 1965 and 1968. There are the remarkables "Don't answer the door" and "Paying the cost to be the boss", the syncopated "Think it over", an excellent version of "Sweet sixteen" in public (also available in the long version of "Blues is king") as well as "Waitin' on you". It is noteworthy that there are also tracks from the film "For the love of Ivy" composed with Quincy Jones and Maya Angelou ("The B.B. Jones", the instrumental "Messy but good").

CONFESSIN' THE BLUES

ABC - Paramount

June 1965

Dans une inspiration Rhythm & Blues influencée par Ray Charles, cet album méconnu - jamais édité en CD - mérite une écoute attentive : moins de guitare, plus de cuivres, une voix toujours parfaite. Malgré un contenu moins accrocheur qu'à l'habitude, on peut ressortir "Do you call that a buddy", "Wee baby blues" et "Cherry red".

Inspired by Rhythm & Blues and by Ray Charles, this unrecognized album - never issued on CD - deserves a careful listening : less guitar, more brass, an always perfect voice. Despite a less catchy content than usual, we can point out "Do you call that a buddy", "Wee baby blues" and "Cherry red".

BLUES IS KING

Bluesway

ABC

MCA

See for Miles

November 1966

Ce concert à l'International Club de Chicago possède les mêmes qualités que le fameux "Live at the Regal". Malheureusement, la production semble un peu plate par moments. Il y a un peu moins de flamme et de dynamisme mais la set-list reste globalement remarquable : "Gambler's blues", "Night life", "Blind love", "Baby get lost" et le beau "Sweet sixteen" (disponible seulement dans certaines versions).

This concert at the International Club of Chicago has the same qualities as the famous "Live at the Regal". Unfortunately, the production seems a bit flat at times. There is a little less flame and dynamism but the set-list remains globally remarkable : "Gambler's blues", "Night life", "Blind love", "Baby get lost" and the beautiful "Sweet sixteen" (only available in some versions).

BLUES ON TOP OF BLUES

Bluesway

ABC

BGO

July - September 1967

Alors que B.B. King vient de triompher sur la scène du Fillmore West en février 1967 devant un jeune public blanc, il participe aux 3 séances d'enregistrement qui constituent ce disque. Encore une fois, un chant superbe et une guitare élégante auxquels est ajoutée une merveilleuse section cuivres arrangée par Johnny Pate (également producteur de cet album au son délicieusement Soul). Plusieurs morceaux valent l'écoute : "Heartbreaker", "That's wrong little mama", "Having my say", "Worried dream", "Raining in my heart" et "Paying the cost to be the boss" devenu depuis un classique de son répertoire. On note aussi que c'est en 1967 qu'il embauche Sid Seidenberg comme manager.

While B.B. King has triumphed at the Fillmore West stage in february 1967 in front of a young white audience, he participates in the 3 recording sessions which constitute this album. Once again, a superb vocals and an elegant guitar to which is added a marvelous horn section arranged by Johnny Pate (also producer of this deliciously Soul sounded album). Several tracks are worth listening : "Heartbreaker", "That's wrong little mama", "Having my say", "Worried dream", "Raining in my heart" and "Paying the cost to be the boss" that became a classic of his repertoire. Note also that in 1967 he hired Sid Seidenberg as manager.

LUCILLE

Bluesway

ABC

BGO

MCA

December 1967

Peu après "Blues on top of blues", B.B. King grave un troisième album pour Bluesway (un label appartenant à ABC) sous la supervision du producteur de jazz Bob Thiele et de l'arrangeur Maxwell Davis. Le titre d'ouverture "Lucille" - extraordinaire morceau de 10 minutes à la guitare entrecoupé des commentaires de B.B. - est un splendide chef d'oeuvre. Le puissant "You move me so", la belle reprise du "No money no luck" d'Ivory Joe Hunter, "Rainin' all the time", "I'm with you" ainsi que le remarquable "Watch yourself" s'imposent comme de purs joyaux également. Un disque indispensable, un des meilleurs de son imposante discographie.

Shortly after "Blues on top of blues", B.B. King recorded a third album for Bluesway (a label belonging to ABC) under the supervision of jazz producer Bob Thiele and arranger Maxwell Davis. The opening title "Lucille" - an extraordinary piece of 10 minutes on the guitar interspersed with comments by B.B. - is a splendid masterpiece. Ivory Joe Hunter's "No money no luck", "Rainin 'all the time", "I'm with you" and the remarkable "Watch yourself" are also pure gems. An indispensable disc, one of the best of his imposing discography.

FOR LOVE OF IVY

ABC

HIS BEST THE ELECTRIC B.B. KING

Bluesway

MCA

BGO

March 1968

Il s'agit de la bande original du film "For the love of Ivy" réalisé par Daniel Mann. La musique est composée par Quincy Jones. B.B. King apparait sur trois morceaux parfois en compagnie de la chanteuse Maya Angelou. On retient notamment "The B.B. Jones" et le sympathique instrumental "Messy but good".

This is the original soundtrack from the film "For the love of Ivy" directed by Daniel Mann. The music is composed by Quincy Jones. B.B. King appears on three tracks sometimes with the singer Maya Angelou. We may highlight "The B.B. Jones" and the nice instrumental "Messy but good".

THE KING'S JAM

Klondyke

April 1968

Jam-session dans un club de New York entre les deux géants de la guitare que sont B.B. King et Jimi Hendrix en avril 1968. Les deux hommes sont accompagnés de Paul Butterfield, Al Kooper, Elvin Bishop notamment. B.B. est, en fait, peu présent et les deux hommes ne jouent jamais ensemble. Il s'agit évidemment d'un enregistrement pirate avec un son relativement correct qu'on conseillera avant tout aux fans complétistes.

Jam-session in a New York club between the two giants of the guitar that are B.B. King and Jimi Hendrix in april 1968. Both men are accompanied by Paul Butterfield, Al Kooper, Elvin Bishop in particular. B.B. is, in fact, not very present and the two men never play together. This is obviously a bootleg recording with a relatively correct sound that will be advised above all to the completists fans.

LIVE & WELL

Bluesway

ABC

BGO

MCA

March 1969

Cet album mi-live mi-studio est historique car son succès permit à B.B. King de conquérir un nouveau public plus jeune. La partie live est prise à Greenwich Village (au Village Gate). En grande forme, il livre de superbes versions de "Don't answer the door" et de "Just a little love". La partie studio est produite par le jeune producteur blanc Bill Szymczyk qui rassemble autour de B.B. King d'excellents musiciens de studio new-yorkais : Gerald "Fingers" Jemmott, Al Kooper, Hugh Mac Cracken, Herb Lovelle, Paul Harris. Plusieurs grands moments : "Get off my back woman", "Let's go down to business" et surtout le chef d'oeuvre incontesté de cet album, une version étendue et puissante de "Why I sing the blues".

This mid-live/studio album is historic because its success allowed B.B. King to conquer a younger audience. The live part is taken in Greenwich Village (at Village Gate). In great form, he delivers beautiful versions of "Don't answer the door" and "Just a little love". The studio part is produced by the young white producer Bill Szymczyk who gathers around B.B. King some excellent New York studio musicians : Gerald "Fingers" Jemmott, Al Kooper, Hugh Mac Cracken, Herb Lovelle, Paul Harris. Several great moments : "Get off my back woman", "Let's go down to business" and especially the undisputed masterpiece of this album, an extended and powerful version of "Why I sing the blues".

COMPLETELY WELL

Bluesway

ABC

MCA

June - October 1969

Avec les mêmes musiciens que sur "Live & Well" (gravé quelques mois plus tôt) et surtout le même producteur Bill Szymczyk. "Completely well" apporta aussi un solide succès à B.B. King. Il est surtout resté célèbre pour son élégante reprise de "The thrill is gone" (un morceau composé par Roy Hawkins) parfaitement produite par Bill Szymczyk et arrangée par Bert De Coteaux. Mais, il faut absolument mentionner "So excited", "You're losin' me", "Crying won't help you now", "You're mean" dans lesquels on remarque une légère touche Soul-Funk par moments.

With the same musicians as on "Live & Well" (recorded a few months earlier) and especially the same producer Bill Szymczyk. "Completely well" was also a great success for B.B. King. He is best known for his elegant cover of "The thrill is gone" (a piece composed by Roy Hawkins) perfectly produced by Bill Szymczyk and arranged by Bert De Coteaux. But, we have to mention "So excited", "You're losin' me", "Crying won't help you now", "You're mean", in which we notice a slight Soul-Funk touch at times.

TEXAS INTERNATIONAL POP FESTIVAL

Oh Boy

August or September 1969

GET YER YA YA'S OUT

ABKCO

November 1969

Peu après les séances de "Completely well", B.B. King assure la première partie des Rolling Stones sur quelques dates de leur tournée. Ces morceaux sont captés lors des concerts donnés au Madison Square Garden de New York. Cinq morceaux vraiment excellents qu'il ne faut pas négligé ("Everyday I have the blues", "How blue can you get", "Why I sing the blues"). Attention, ils ne sont disponibles que dans la version 3CD.

Shortly after the "Completely well" sessions, B.B. King assured the first part of the Rolling Stones on some dates of their tour. These songs are captured during the concerts given at the Madison Square Garden in New York. Five really good sides that should not be overlooked ("Everyday I have the blues", "How blue can you get", "Why I sing the blues"). Be careful, they are only available in the 3CD version.

INDIANOLA MISSISSIPPI SEEDS

ABC

Probe

BGO

MCA

March 1969 / May 1970

Mêlant des éléments Rock-Pop au Blues de B.B. King, cet album est de nouveau produit par Bill Szymczyk. Il s'agit d'un opus plutôt atypique qui compte les participations des pianistes Carole King et Leon Russell et d'une solide section rythmique (Bryan Garofalo, Ross Kunkel). "You're still my woman", "Ask me no question", l'instrumental "King's special" méritent l'écoute. On note que "Go underground" fut enregistré pendant les séances de "Live & well".

Mixing Rock-Pop elements with B.B. King's Blues, this album is again produced by Bill Szymczyk. It is a rather atypical opus that includes the contributions of pianists Carole King and Leon Russell and a strong rhythm section (Bryan Garofalo, Ross Kunkel). "You're still my woman", "Ask me no question", the instrumental "King's special" deserve listening. We note that "Go underground" was recorded during the "Live & well" sessions.

MEDICINE BALL CARAVAN

Warner Bros

August 1970

LIVE IN COOK COUNTY JAIL

ABC

Probe

MCA

September 1970

Capté dans une prison de Chicago devant 2000 détenus en septembre 1970, ce concert reste encore aujourd'hui un album réputé à juste titre. Superbement à l'aise à la guitare, B.B. délivre une performance pleine de force et de flamme qui culmine dans "How blue can you get", "Worry worry worry", "Sweet sixteen" ainsi qu'une puissante version de "The thrill is gone".

Captured in a Chicago prison in front of 2000 inmates in september 1970, this concert is still today a well-known album. Superbly at ease on guitar, B.B. delivers a full of strength and flame performance that culminates in "How blue can you get", "Worry worry worry", "Sweet sixteen" as well as a powerful version of "The thrill is gone".

THE ED SULLIVAN YEARS : R&B REVUE

TVT

October 1970

LIVE IN JAPAN

ABC

MCA

March 1971

Concert enregistré - lors d'une tournée japonaise - au Sankei Hall de Tokyo lors de deux soirées. B.B. est en grande forme et son orchestre aussi. La set-list est composée de ses habituelles pépites ("Sweet sixteen", "The thrill is gone"), des titres de son dernier album studio ("You're still my woman", "Chains and things") et quelques nouveaux morceaux ("Niji baby" et les instrumentaux "Japanese boogie" et "Hikari #88"). Ce superbe live atteint le même haut niveau que "Live in Cook County Jail".

Performance recorded - during a japanese tour - at the Sankei Hall in Tokyo during two evenings. B.B. is in great shape and his orchestra too. The set-list is composed of her usual gems ("Sweet sixteen", "The thrill is gone"), songs from his latest studio album ("You're still my wife", "Chains and things") and some new titles ("Niji baby" and the instrumental "Japanese boogie" and "Hikari #88"). This superb live reaches the same high level as "Live in Cook County Jail".

L.A. MIDNIGHT

ABC

Probe

EL CAMINO DEL BLUES vol.1

ABC

March - April 1971

Production Blues-Rock d'Ed Michel pour un album sans réelle ligne directrice. Il y a beaucoup de musiciens différents comme Taj Mahal ou les guitaristes Jesse Ed Davis et Joe Walsh qui jamment avec B.B. sur les inégaux et ennuyeux "Midnight" et "Lucille's granny". A noter tout de même, une belle version de "Sweet sixteen".

Blues-Rock-oriented production by Ed Michel for an album without real guidelines. There are many different musicians like Taj Mahal or guitarists Jesse Ed Davis and Joe Walsh who jam with B.B. on the uneven and boring "Midnight" and "Lucille's granny". We note, however, a nice version of "Sweet sixteen".

IN LONDON

ABC

Probe

MCA

June 1971

Quelques semaines après "L.A. Midnight", B.B. King voyage jusqu'en Angleterre pour jouer avec les musiciens locaux : Ringo Starr, Duster Bennett, Stevie Winwood, Peter Green, Alexis Korner, Steve Marriot. Il y a aussi quelques américains (Jim Price, Bobby Keys, Dr John). Il s'agit d'un album produit par Ed Michel et Joe Zagarino avec une section rythmique un peu lourde, des arrangements parfois pesants, une direction musicale indécise. On y trouve de rares moments sympathiques ("Alexis boogie") et d'autres beaucoup plus empesés ("We can't agree").

A few weeks after "L.A. Midnight", B.B King travels to England to play with local musicians : Ringo Starr, Duster Bennett, Stevie Winwood, Peter Green, Alexis Korner and Steve Marriot. There are also a few americans (Jim Price, Bobby Keys, Dr. John). It is an album produced by Ed Michel and Joe Zagarino with a somewhat heavy rhythm section, sometimes heavy arrangements, an undecided musical direction. There are rare nice moments ("Alexis boogie") and others much more affected ("We can't agree").

LIVE AT THE FILLMORE EAST

Geffen

June 1971

Issu de bandes pirates, ce concert fut édité tardivement - en 2009 - en CD. Un témoignage scénique intéressant qui n'a ni la puissance ni l'intensité de "Live in Cook County Jail" mais qui mérite l'écoute ("How blue can you get", "Sweet sixteen", "The thrill is gone").

This concert came from bootleg tapes and was released late in 2009 on CD. An interesting stage show that has neither the power nor the intensity of "Live in Cook County Jail" but that deserves listening ("How blue can you get", "Sweet sixteen", "The thrill is gone") .

LIVE AT SUNSET SOUND

DOL

UNITED WESTERN RECORDERS HOLLYWOOD

Hi-Hat

January or October 1972

Selon les éditions la date change mais il s'agit bien du même concert. La qualité sonore issue d'une retransmission radiophonique (KMET à Los Angeles) est correcte quoique déséquilibrée. Quoi qu'il en soit, il s'agit d'un sympathique concert bien qu'il soit relativement mineur dans la copieuse discographie de B.B. King. On le conseillera davantage aux complétistes.

According to the editions the date changes but it is indeed the same concert. The sound quality resulting from a radio broadcast (KMET in Los Angeles) is decent although unbalanced. Anyway, it is a nice concert though relatively minor in the copious discography of B.B. King. It will be advised more to the completists.

MAR Y SOL

Atco

June 1972

GUESS WHO

ABC

Probe

BGO

MCA

June 1972

Produit par Joe Zagarino, il s'agit d'un disque inégal et parfois ennuyeux. On peut signaler une reprise de "Summer in the city" (du groupe Lovin' Spoonful) mais aussi "Just can't please you", "Better lovin' man", une reprise correcte de "Five long years". Le reste du programme étant constitué d'insipides ballades sentimentales.

Produced by Joe Zagarino, this is an uneven and sometimes boring disc. We can mention a cover of "Summer in the city" (by Lovin' Spoonful band) but also "Just can't please you", "Better lovin' man", a decent cover of "Five long years". The rest of the program is made up of insipid sentimental ballads.

NEWPORT IN NEW YORK vol.5

Cobblestone

Atlantic

NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL 72 vol.1

Accord

BLUES

Galaxis

Masters

July 1972

KANSAS CITY 1972

Charly

Altaya

Atlas

August 1972

B.B. King et son groupe délivrent ici une performance attrayante et plutôt agréable à l'écoute ("Sweet little angel", "Outside help"). La qualité sonore s'avère correcte mais sans plus.

B.B. King and his band deliver here an attractive and rather pleasant performance to listen ("Sweet little angel", "Outside help"). The sound quality is decent but nothing more.

TO KNOW YOU IS TO LOVE YOU

ABC

Probe

MCA

June 1973

Avec les participations de Stevie Wonder, des Memphis Horns et du producteur Dave Crawford, l'album est baigné de sonorités Soul gravées à Philadelphie (et son fameux Philly Sound). Très beau son chaud et enveloppant comme dans la superbe chanson-titre ainsi qu'un superbe Blues "Thank you for loving the blues".

With the participation of Stevie Wonder, The Memphis Horns and producer Dave Crawford, the album is bathed in Soul sounds cut in Philadelphia (and its famous Philly Sound). Very beautiful warm and enveloping sound as in the beautiful title song as well as in a superb blues "Thank you for loving the blues".

THE BLUES A REAL SUMMIT MEETING

Buddah

LIVE AT NEWPORT

Intermedia

Tobacco Road

Blue Moon

Astan

Pilz

June 1973

Dans ces recueils consacrés au festival de Newport de 1973, on peut entendre B.B. King sur une superbe version de "Outside help".

In these collections dedicated to the 1973 Newport Festival, we can hear B.B. King on a superb version of "Outside help".

FRIENDS

ABC

Probe

BGO

August 1974

Construit sur le même modèle que "To know you is to love you" (même lieu d'enregistrement, mêmes producteur et musiciens), il s'avère cependant nettement moins abouti. L'instrumental funky "Philadelphia" sort un peu du lot mais le reste peine à retenir l'attention de l'auditeur. Peu après en septembre 1974, B.B. King triomphe au Zaïre à l'occasion du célèbre combat de boxe entre Muhammad Ali et George Foreman (un événement organisé par Stewart Levine qui deviendra son producteur peu après).

Built on the same model as "To know you is to love you" (same recording location, same producers and musicians), it is nevertheless much less achieved. The funky instrumental "Philadelphia" comes out a bit of the bunch but the rest struggles to attract the attention of the listener. Shortly afterwards in september 1974, B.B. King triumphed in Zaire on the occasion of the famous boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman (an event organized by Stewart Levine who became his producer soon after).

TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME

ABC-Dunhill

BGO

MCA

I LIKE TO LIVE THE LOVE

MCA

September 1974

Concert commun entre Bobby "Blue" Bland et son ami B.B. King sur une scène de Los Angeles. L'orchestre comprend des musiciens des deux artistes. Il existe d'évidence une belle complicité entre les deux hommes (ils discutent beaucoup ensemble tout au long du disque). Mais, en dépit de quelques beaux moments, tout reste souvent désespérément plat dans cette performance (notamment lors de ce medley interminable). Heureusement, certains morceaux méritent l'écoute comme "That's the way love is", "Don't cry no more", "Everybody wants to know why I sing the blues". Un disque finalement assez plaisant mais décevant de la part de deux artistes de cette stature.

Joint concert with Bobby "Blue" Bland and his friend B.B. King on stage in Los Angeles. The orchestra includes musicians from both artists. There is obviously a great complicity between the two men (they discuss a lot together throughout the disc). But despite some beautiful moments, everything is often desperately flat in this performance (especially during the endless medley). Fortunately, some tracks are worth listening like "That's the way love is", "Don't cry no more", "Everybody wants to know why I sing the blues". Actually, a pleasant record but quite disappointing from two artists of this stature.

LUCILLE TALKS BACK

ABC

September 1975

THE INTERNATIONAL BLUES FESTIVAL

P-Vine

November 1975

TOGETHER AGAIN LIVE

ABC

Impulse

MCA

March 1976

Nouvelle prestation scénique commune de Bobby "Blue" Bland et de B.B. King. Le disque commence par une version explosive de "Let the good times roll" puis continue avec un "Feel so bad" rejouissant. On apprécie aussi deux medleys bien mieux maitrisés que dans "Together for the first time". Il n'existe pas beaucoup d'albums en public vraiment achevés de Bobby donc celui-ci possède une importance particulière dans sa discographie.

New joint stage performance of Bobby "Blue" Bland and B.B. King. The disc begins with an explosive version of "Let the good times roll" and then continues with a rejoicing version of "Feel so bad". We also appreciate two medleys better mastered than in "Together for the first time". There is not a lot of really completed public albums by Bobby so this one has a special significance in his discography.

KING SIZE

ABC

Late 1976

Album méconnu dans la discographie de B.B. King, il rassemble autour du bluesman une trentaine de musiciens (cuivres, cordes, choristes) placés sous la supervision du producteur Esmond Edwards. Un programme agréable et assez varié dont on retient "I wonder why", une reprise Soul-Funk du classique "Got my mojo working" et le medley "I just want to make love to you / Your lovin' turns me on" (avec un beau solo de saxophone de Jimmy Forrest).

Unknown album in the B.B. King discography, it gathers around the bluesman some thirty musicians (brass, strings, chorus) placed under the supervision of producer Esmond Edwards. A nice and varied program that includes "I wonder why", a Soul-Funk cover of the classic "Got my mojo working" and the medley "I just want to make love to you / Your lovin' turns me on" (with a beautiful solo saxophone by Jimmy Forrest).

GUITAR PLAYER

MCA

December 1976

MIDNIGHT BELIEVER

ABC

MCA

Late 1977

Sous l'influence des Crusaders (Wilton Felder, Styx Hooper, Joe Sample), du producteur Stewart Levine et de Will Jennings, la musique de B.B. King intègre de nombreux éléments Soul-Funk. Un disque rempli de mélodies entrainantes et dansantes : "I just can't leave your love alone", "Midnight believer", "Never make a move too soon" sont irrésistibles. Les autres pistes s'avèrent, en revanche, plus dispensables. On peut tout de même regretter que la guitare de B.B. King reste à l'arrière-plan.

Under the influence of The Crusaders (Wilton Felder, Styx Hooper, Joe Sample), producer Stewart Levine and Will Jennings, the music of B.B. King incorporates many Soul-Funk elements. A disc filled with lively and dancing melodies : "I just can't leave your love alone", "Midnight believer", "Never make a move too soon" are irresistible. The other tracks seem, on the other hand, more dispensable. We can still regret that the guitar of B.B. King remains in the background.

KING BISCUIT FLOWER HOUR PRESENTS B.B. KING

King Biscuit

June 1978

LIVE AT THE BBC

Polydor

October 1978 / March 1989 / July 1991 / November 1997

Paru en 2009, ce CD rassemble plusieurs bandes live de différentes époques : sur la scène de l'Hammersmith Odeon de Londres en octobre 1978, une séance londonienne dans les studios de la BBC en mars 1989, au Jazzfest de Glasgow en juillet 1991 et enfin au Fairfield Hall de Croydon en novembre 1997. Rien d'exceptionnel dans la set-list mais une honnête sélection qui vaut l'écoute.

Published in 2009, this CD brings together several live tapes from different periods : on the Hammersmith Odeon stage in London in october 1978, a London session in the BBC studios in march 1989, at the Jazzfest in Glasgow in july 1991 and finally at the Fairfield Hall in Croydon in november 1997. Nothing exceptional in the set-list but an honest selection worth listening to.

TAKE IT HOME

MCA

December 1978 - January 1979

Second disque avec les Crusaders et Stewart Levine, il se place dans la parfaite continuité artistique avec "Midnight believer". Cependant, cet album poussif peine à intéresser l'auditeur malgré quelques moments sympathiques : "Better not look down" et ses intonations Gospel, "Happy birthday blues" et "I've always been lonely".

Second disc with The Crusaders and Stewart Levine, it places himself in perfect artistic continuity with "Midnight believer". However, this wheezy album fails to interest the listener despite some nice moments : "Better not look down" and its Gospel intonations, "Happy birthday blues" and "I've always been lonely".

LIVE AT MONTREUX

Vinyl Collection

1979

NOW APPEARING AT OLE MISS

MCA

November 1979

Capté à l'Université du Mississippi, il s'agit d'un concert bien ennuyeux : morceaux longs et uniformément plats, orchestration poussive. On note tout de même que ce disque symbolise l'arrivée de Calvin Owens - déjà trompettiste - comme chef d'orchestre.

Captured at the University of Mississippi, it is a very boring concert : long and evenly flat tracks, wheezy orchestration. We note however that this disc symbolizes the arrival of Calvin Owens - already trumpet player - as bandleader.

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B.B. KING (EP)

AMA

Late 70's / Early 80's

THERE MUST BE A BETTER WORLD SOMEWHERE

MCA

October 1980

Pour ce disque produit par Stewart Levine, B.B. King est entouré d'une excellente section cuivres (Hank Crawford, Tom Malone, Ronald Cuber, David "Fathead" Newman) et d'une puissante section rythmique (Wilbur Bascomb, Bernard Purdie). Tous les morceaux sont composés par Doc Pomus et Dr John (également aux claviers) sauf un dans un style entre Blues, Soul et Rhythm & Blues. "The victim", "Life ain't nothing but a party", "Born again human", "There must be a better world somewhere" méritent assurément l'écoute.

For this record produced by Stewart Levine, B.B. King is surrounded by an excellent horn section (Hank Crawford, Tom Malone, Ronald Cuber, David "Fathead" Newman) and a powerful rhythm section (Wilbur Bascomb, Bernard Purdie). All songs are composed by Doc Pomus and Dr John (also on keyboards) except one in a style between Blues, Soul and Rhythm & Blues. "The victim", "Life ain't nothing but a party", "Born again human", "There must be a better world somewhere" certainly deserve listening.

LIVE IN LONDON

Crusaders

September 1981

ROYAL JAM

MCA

September 1981

B.B. King n'est présent que sur la moitié de ce disque des Crusaders (avec aussi la participation du Royal Philarmonic Orchestra). Il brille notamment sur une belle version de "The thrill is gone".

B.B. King is only present on half of this Crusaders record (with the participation of the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra). He shines especially on a beautiful version of "The thrill is gone".

LOVE ME TENDER

MCA

1982

Gravé à Nashville avec les Muscle Shoals Horns, un ensemble de cordes et des musiciens locaux (David Briggs, Reggie Young, Dale Sellers). Il n'y a quasiment pas de Blues ici et pas grand chose à retenir.

Recorded in Nashville with the Muscle Shoals Horns, a string ensemble and local musicians (David Briggs, Reggie Young, Dale Sellers). There is hardly any blues here and not much to remember.

BLUES 'N JAZZ

MCA

September 1982

Cet album symbolise le retour au son Blues des années 50-60 après avoir mélangé sa musique à la Soul, Funk, Pop. Directement produit par Sid Seidenberg - son manager - "Blues 'n Jazz" rassemble quelques vieux amis comme Lloyd Glenn ou des jazzmen comme Arnett Cobb, "Major" Holley, Billy Butler, Warren Chiasson (superbe au vibraphone). On y trouve des reprises soignées de Louis Jordan ("Inflation blues", "Heed my warning") et aussi des titres personnels : "Broken heart", "Teardrops from my eyes", "Darlin' you know I love you" et l'éblouissant instrumental "Rainbow riot". Une belle réalisation entre Blues et Jazz.

This album symbolizes the return to 50's - 60's Blues sound after mixing his music with Soul, Funk, Pop. Directly produced by Sid Seidenberg - his manager - "Blues 'n Jazz" brings together some old friends like Lloyd Glenn or jazzmen like Arnett Cobb, "Major" Holley, Billy Butler, Warren Chiasson (superb on vibraphone). There are neat covers of Louis Jordan ("Inflation blues", "Heed my warning") and also personal titles : "Broken heart", "Teardrops from my eyes", "Darlin' you know I love you" and the dazzling instrumental "Rainbow riot". A great achievement between Blues and Jazz.

B.B. BOOGIE

Blue Moon

1982

Dans cette sélection, il y a trois morceaux inédits provenant d'une émission de télévision anglaise de 1982. La qualité sonore est assez mauvaise (on entend peu les cuivres). Dommage car la musique semble être de premier plan.

In this selection, there are three unreleased tracks from a 1982 English television program. The sound quality is rather bad (we hear little horns). Too bad because the music seems to be first rate.

THE KING OF COMEDY

Warner Bros

1982 - 1983

LIVE IN CONCERT

Kingdom Jazz

LIVE FROM MIDEM

Dargil

Cinevox

WHY I SING THE BLUES

Delta

LUMINESCENCE

TKO-Magnum

AND HIS ORCHESTRA LIVE

Fabulous

THRILL IS GONE

Jazz Hour

KING OF THE BLUES

Prism

January 1983

Ce concert donné au Palais des Congrès de Cannes en janvier 1983 fut repris partiellement sous de nombreux habillages différents (parfois partagés avec Pat Metheny et Dave Brubeck également à l'affiche). Il est, bien sûr, plus intéressant d'essayer de se procurer la version la plus complète possible de ce bon concert ("Why I sing the blues" chez Delta ou "And his orchestra Live" chez Fabulous). Hormis une jam-session un peu longue avec Dave Brubeck, le reste de la performance s'avère digne d'interêt ("Thrill is gone", "Everyday I have the blues", "Paying the cost to be the boss", "B.B.'s theme").

This concert, given at the Palais des Congrès in Cannes in january 1983, was partly re-issued in a number of different packagings (sometimes shared with Pat Metheny and Dave Brubeck). It is, of course, more interesting to try to get the most complete version of this good concert ("Why I sing the blues" by Delta or "And his orchestra Live" by Fabulous). Aside from a somewhat long jam session with Dave Brubeck, the rest of the performance is worthy of interest ("Thrill is gone", "Everyday I have the blues", "Paying the cost to be the boss", "B.B.'s theme").

ALL OVER AGAIN

ITM

February 1983

Bandes live captées à Boston quelques jours après le concert précédent à Cannes. De superbes versions de "Don't answer the door", "Paying the cost to be the boss", "Caldonia" bien servies par une excellente qualité sonore. Peu connu, ce "All over again" mériterait d'être redécouvert.

Live tapes captured in Boston a few days after the previous concert in Cannes. Great versions of "Don't answer the door", "Paying the cost to be the boss", "Caldonia" well served by an excellent sound quality. Little known, this "All over again" deserves to be rediscovered.

SIX SILVER STRINGS

MCA

April - July 1984 / March 1985

Une séance en Floride sous la supervision de Dave Crawford et une autre gravée à Hollywood, produite par John Landis et Ira Newborn, initialement prévue pour le film "Into the night" (réalisé par John Landis). Surproduit avec des arrangements Pop-Rock commerciaux et souvent plat, cet album fait vraiment pâle figure.

A session in Florida under the supervision of Dave Crawford and another cut in Hollywood, produced by John Landis and Ira Newborn, originally planned for the film "Into the night" (directed by John Landis). Overproduced with often flat pop-rock commercial arrangements, this album is really colourless.

INTO THE NIGHT

MCA

October 1984 / March 1985

THE COLOR OF MONEY

MCA

1986

A NIGHT OF BLISTERING BLUES

MPG

April 1987

Sur la scène de l'Ebony Theatre, B.B. King est rejoint par de nombreux artistes comme Etta James, Chaka Kahn, Billy Ocean, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, Gladys Knight, Dr John, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert King, Paul Butterfield. Dans une sympathique ambiance d'émulation mutuelle qui se ressent dans la musique, quelques grands classiques entre Blues et Soul interprétés avec respect et feeling.

On the stage of the Ebony Theater, B.B. King is joined by many artists such as Etta James, Chaka Kahn, Billy Ocean, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, Gladys Knight, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert King, Paul Butterfield. In a warm atmosphere of mutual emulation that is felt in music, some great classics between Blues and Soul interpreted with respect and feeling.

STORMY MONDAY

Virgin

November 1987

KING OF THE BLUES 1989

MCA

1988

Malgré les participations de Bonnie Raitt, Tom Scott, Steve Cropper, Al Kooper, Alan Rubin, Lou Marini, Randy Brecker, rien ne fonctionne vraiment dans ce disque. Le choix de production avec claviers et batterie synthétique en avant et bien peu de guitare est assez pénible. On peut tout de même mentionner "Lay another leg on the fire".

In spite of the appearances of Bonnie Raitt, Tom Scott, Steve Cropper, Al Kooper, Alan Rubin, Lou Marini, Randy Brecker, nothing really works on this record. The choice of production with keyboards and synthetic drums on the foreground and very little guitar is quite painful. We can still mention "Lay another leg on the fire".

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY CHARLIE BROWN

GRP

1989

LIVE AT SAN QUENTIN

MCA

May 1990

A nouveau en concert dans une prison (ici à San Quentin à côté de San Francisco), B.B. King livre ici une prestation puissante et remarquable. En dépit d'une guitare - plus amplifiée qu'à l'habitude - et d'un mixage parfois défectueux, il s'agit certainement d'un de ses meilleurs albums live. Parfois sous-estimé, il contient des versions brulantes de "Let the good times roll", "Never make a move too soon", "The thrill is gone", "Into the night".

Again in concert in a prison (here in San Quentin close to San Francisco), B.B. King delivers here a powerful and remarkable performance. Despite a guitar - more amplified than usual - and a mix sometimes defective, it is certainly one of his best live albums. Sometimes underestimated, it contains burning versions of "Let the good times roll", "Never make a move too soon", "The thrill is gone", "Into the night".

AIR AMERICA

MCA

June 1990

LIVE

Invitation

August 1990

LIVE IN MILANO

Fu

November 1990

LIVE AT THE APOLLO

GRP

MCA

Verve

November 1990

Pour ce concert à l'Apollo de New York, B.B. King n'est pas accompagné par son groupe régulier mais par le Phillip Morris Super Band (pas aussi souple mais tout de même solide). Cela ne l'empêche pas d'être, tout de même, impérial à la guitare. "When love comes to town", "Sweet sixteen", "All over again", "Night life" méritent l'écoute.

For this concert at the Apollo in New York, B.B. King is not accompanied by his regular band but by the Phillip Morris Super Band (not so flexible but still solid). That does not prevent him from being, nevertheless, imperial on guitar. "When love comes to town", "Sweet sixteen", "All over again", "Night life" deserve listening.

GARFIELD : AM I COOL OR WHAT ?

GRP

1991

THERE IS ALWAYS ONE MORE TIME

MCA

March 1991

Produit par Stewart Levine avec un son Soul-Blues contemporain, B.B. est soutenu par de bons sidemen comme Joe Sample, Arthur Adams, Freddie Washington ou Jim Keltner. "I'm moving on", "Mean and evil", "Something up my sleeve", "Roll roll roll" sont des titres efficaces et prenants. Il ne faut pas oublier également la belle et intense ballade Soul-Blues "There is always one more time" (composée par Doc Pomus). Petit regret : la guitare de B.B. est souvent ajoutée en overdubs en même temps que son chant. Quelques mois après ce disque - en mai 1991 - il inaugure le B.B. King Blues Club sur Beale Street à Memphis.

Produced by Stewart Levine with a contemporary Soul-Blues sound, B.B. is supported by good sidemen like Joe Sample, Arthur Adams, Freddie Washington or Jim Keltner. "I'm moving on", "Mean and evil", "Something up my sleeve", "Roll roll roll" are effective and catchy titles. Do not forget the beautiful and intense Soul-Blues ballad "There is always one more time" (composed by Doc Pomus). Little regret : the guitar of B.B. is often added in overdubs at the same time as his singing. A few months after this record - in may 1991 - he inaugurated the B.B. King Blues Club on Beale Street in Memphis.

LIVE AT THE NORTH SEA JAZZ FESTIVAL

GRP

June 1992

LIVE : WHEN LOVE COMES TO TOWN

ITM Media

1992

Concert avec un son correct quoiqu'un peu étouffé. Une performance live plutôt honnête avec quelques longueurs mais pas très original. Une jolie version de "Back in L.A." à noter tout de même.

Concert with a decent sound though a little muffled. A live performance rather honest with a few lengths but not very original. However, we can note a nice version of "Back in L.A.".

HOW BLUE CAN YOU GET

MCA

February 1993 / March 1994

Comme son sous-titre l'indique, il s'agit d'une compilation de faces live. En fin de programme, on trouve trois morceaux inédits : un duo avec Ruth Brown sur "Ain't nobody's business", une superbe version de "T-Bone shuffle" dans son club de Memphis et enfin "Rock me baby" sur une scène allemande.

As its subtitle indicates, it is a compilation of live sides. At the end of the program, there are three unissued tracks : a duet with Ruth Brown on "Ain't nobody's business", a superb version of "T-Bone shuffle" in his Memphis club and finally "Rock me baby" on a German stage.

BLUES SUMMIT

MCA

February - March 1993

Superbe album parfaitement produit avec une liste d'invités prestigieux, chacun apportant sa touche à la musique de B.B. King. Plusieurs pépites méritent d'être citées comme "Playin' with my friends" (avec Robert Cray), "Since I met you baby" (avec Katie Webster), "Something you got" (avec Koko Taylor), "There's something on your mind" (avec Etta James), "Call it stormy monday" (avec Albert Collins), "You're the boss" (avec Ruth Brown). Un opus remarquablement inspiré et varié qui se range d'emblée parmi ses meilleures réalisations des années 90.

Superb album perfectly produced with a list of prestigious guests, each bringing his touch to B.B. King's music. Many gems worth mentioning include "Playin' with my friends" (with Robert Cray), "Since I met you baby" (with Katie Webster), "Something you got" (with Koko Taylor), "There's something on your mind" (with Etta James), "Call it stormy monday" (with Albert Collins), "You're the boss" (with Ruth Brown). A remarkably inspired and varied opus which immediately ranks among his best achievements of the 90's.

LIVE IN MONTREUX

Swingin' Pig

July 1993

HEART TO HEART

GRP

Jazz Heritage

November - December 1993

Associé à la chanteuse Diane Schuur, B.B. livre un album entre Jazz, Pop et Blues élégamment produit par Phil Ramone. Les fans de B.B. pourraient être un peu désappointés par ce disque différent. Finalement, la set-list est agréable et contient même quelques moments sympathiques : "No one ever tells you", "It had to be you", "I'm putting all my eggs in one basket", "Spirit in the dark".

Associated with the singer Diane Schuur, B.B. delivers an album between Jazz, Pop and Blues elegantly produced by Phil Ramone. B.B. fans might be a bit disappointed by this different record. Finally, the set-list is nice and even contains some nice moments : "No one ever tells you", "It had to be you", "I'm putting all my eggs in one basket", "Spirit in the dark".

GRP CHRISTMAS COLLECTION vol.3

GRP

1993

GRP ALL-STAR BIG BAND : ALL BLUES

GRP

January 1994

TRIBUTE TO STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN

Epic

May 1995

NOTODDEN BLUES FESTIVAL : THE FIRST TEN YEARS

Grappa

August 1997

DEUCES WILD

MCA

1997

B.B. King est associé à un invité différent à chaque morceau. Sur "Blues summit" - bâti sur le même principe - le résultat était remarquable. Ici, le bilan s'avère beaucoup moins convaincant. Des titres moins accrocheurs, une production et des arrangements trop lisses, un programme trop long. Une poignée de morceaux émergent tout de même : "The thrill is gone" (avec Tracy Chapman), "Baby I love you" (avec Bonnie Raitt), "Paying the cost to be the boss" (avec les Rolling Stones) et "Dangerous mood" (avec Joe Cocker).

B.B. King is associated with a different guest on each track. On "Blues Summit" - built on the same principle - the result was remarkable. Here, the balance sheet is much less convincing. Less catchy titles, too flat production and arrangements, too long program. However, a handful of tracks emerge : "The thrill is gone" (with Tracy Chapman), "Baby I love you" (with Bonnie Raitt), "Paying the cost to be the boss" (avec les Rolling Stones) and "Dangerous mood" (with Joe Cocker).

BLUES ON THE BAYOU

MCA

1998

Pour la première fois, B.B. King est son propre producteur. Cet album était, d'ailleurs, un de ses préférés. Gravé en Louisiane avec son impeccable groupe régulier, il se concentre sur ses propres compositions. "Blues boy tune", "Bad case of love", "Blues man", "Shake it up and go", "Blues we like", "I got some outside help I don't need", "If that ain't it I quit" sont remarquablement joués avec feeling et inspiration.

For the first time, B.B. King is his own producer. This album was, indeed, one of his favorites. Recorded in Louisiana with his impeccable regular band, he concentrates on his own compositions. "Blues boy tune", "Bad case of love", "Blues man", "Shake it up and go", "Blues we like", "I got some outside help I don't need", "If that ain't it I quit" are remarkably played with feeling and inspiration.

BLUES BROTHERS 2000

Universal

1998

B.B. King joua un petit rôle dans le film "Blues Brothers 2000" réalisé par John Landis. Pour l'occasion, il est à la tête des Louisiana Gator Boys comprenant de nombreux musiciens Rock, Soul et Blues. Ensemble, ils jouent deux morceaux : "How blue can you get" et "New Orleans".

B.B. King played a small role in the film "Blues Brothers 2000" directed by John Landis. For the occasion, he is the head of The Louisiana Gator Boys with many Rock, Soul and Blues musicians. Together, they play two tracks : "How blue can you get" and "New Orleans".

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL

MCA

1999

Album-hommage à Louis Jordan remarquablement produit (par Stewart Levine) et arrangé (par Hank Crawford), cet opus est donc intégralement constitué de reprises. Certaines méritent vraiment l'écoute parmi lesquelles "Is you or is you ain't my baby" en duo avec Dr John, "Choo choo ch'boogie", "Buzz me", "Early in the morning", "Caldonia", "Saturday night fish fry".

Tribute album to Louis Jordan remarkably produced (by Stewart Levine) and arranged (by Hank Crawford), this opus is thus entirely made up of covers. Some of them really deserve to be listened to, including "Is you or is you ain't my baby" a duet with Dr John, "Choo choo ch'boogie", "Buzz me", "Early in the morning", "Caldonia", "Saturday night fish fry".

MAKIN' LOVE IS GOOD FOR YOU

MCA

1999

Retour au son Soul-Blues cuivré, B.B. King (encore une fois producteur) livre un album correct plutôt classique et sans surprise. On trouve quelques bons moments : "I got to leave this woman", "Monday woman", "Makin' love is good for you", "What you bet", "It's still called the blues" ainsi qu'une reprise de "I'm in the wrong business" (un titre composé par A.C. Reed).

Back to the brassy Soul-Blues sound, B.B. King (producer once again) delivers a rather classic decent album, not very surprising. We find some nice moments : "I got to leave this woman", "Monday woman", "Makin' love is good for you", "What you bet", "It's still called the blues" and a cover of "I'm in the wrong business" (a title composed by A.C. Reed).

RIDING WITH THE KING

Reprise

2000

Album événement réunissant B.B. King et Eric Clapton. Ce dernier produit l'album avec Simon Climie entouré d'excellents musiciens de studio : Steve Gadd, Andy Fairweather-Low, Tim Carmon, Nathan East, Joe Sample. Le programme est essentiellement composé de morceaux de B.B. et de reprises Blues. Joués avec application, ces titres manquent un peu de flamme et souffrent d'une production un peu lisse. Le long blues "Three o'clock blues", le rapide "Days of old" ou la superbe reprise de "Hold on I'm comin'" sortent clairement du lot.

Event album bringing together B.B. King and Eric Clapton. The latter produces the album with Simon Climie surrounded by excellent studio musicians : Steve Gadd, Andy Fairweather-Low, Tim Carmon, Nathan East, Joe Sample. The program is essentially composed of B.B. tracks and Blues covers. Played with application, these titles lack a bit of flame and suffer from a somewhat smooth production. The long blues "Three o'clock blues", the fast "Days of old" or the awesome cover of "Hold on I'm comin'" come out clearly.

A CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION OF HOPE

MCA

2001

Il s'agit d'un bon album de Blues pour Noël bien produit par B.B. King. Certains morceaux avec ensemble de cordes paraissent quand même surproduits. Très convenu mais bien réalisé, un album intéressant qui ne doit pas être négligé ("Lonesome Christmas", "Back door Santa", "Christmas celebration", "Merry Christmas baby").

This is a good Blues album for Christmas produced by B.B. King. Some tracks with strings seem nevertheless overproduced. Very nice but well done, an interesting album that should not be neglected ("Lonesome Christmas", "Back door Santa", "Christmas celebration", "Merry Christmas baby").

REFLECTIONS

MCA

2003

Produit par Simon Climie, ce "Reflections" possède un son épais parfois empesé, surproduit. Beaucoup de tempos lents avec arrangements de cordes un peu ennuyeux. Un programme donc globalement assez plat.

Produced by Simon Climie, this "Reflections" has a thick sometimes heavy overproduced sound. Many slow tempos with arrangements of strings a bit annoying. Overall, a pretty flat program.

80

Geffen

February - June 2005

Nouvel album avec plein d'invités pour fêter les 80 ans de B.B. King. Ces reprises parfois très conventionnelles ne sortent pas vraiment du lot à l'exception de "Early in the morning" (avec Van Morrison), "Ain't nobody's home" (avec Daryl Hall), "Drivin' wheel" (avec Glenn Frey), "Never make a move too soon" (avec Roger Daltrey) et "Rock this house" (avec Elton John).

New album with lots of guests to celebrate the 80 years birthday of B.B. King. These covers, which are sometimes very conventional, do not really stand out except for "Early in the morning" (with Van Morrison), "Ain't nobody's home" (with Daryl Hall), "Drivin' wheel" (with Glenn Frey), "Never make a move too soon" (with Roger Daltrey) and "Rock this house" (with Elton John).

ONE KIND FAVOR

Geffen

Universal

2008

Pour son dernier album studio, B.B. King n'a pas fait venir d'invités mais s'est entouré du producteur T-Bone Burnett. Le son brut et terrien donne une coloration très Blues aux différents titres. Toujours en forme à la guitare et au chant à 82 ans, il livre un superbe album composé de reprises bien choisies et bien rendues comme "See that my grave is kept clean", "I get so weary", "How many more years", "The world gone wrong", "Midnight blues", "Sitting on top of the world".

For his last studio album, B.B. King did not bring guests but surrounded himself with producer T-Bone Burnett. The down-home raw sound gives a very blues coloration to the different titles. Always in fine form on guitar and vocals at 82 years, he delivers a superb album composed of well chosen and well-made covers such as "See that my grave is kept clean", "I get so weary", "How many more years", "The world gone wrong", "Midnight blues", "Sitting on top of the world".

LIVE AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL

Shout Factory

June 2011

Sur cette célèbre scène londonienne, B.B. est rejoint par des stars du Blues et du Rock (Ron Wood, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Slash, Mick Hucknall) globalement peu inspirés aux côtés du Maitre. Même si certains moments peuvent plaire, le programme semble, la plupart du temps, sans flamme manquant cruellement de dynamisme.

On this famous London scene, B.B. is joined by Blues and Rock stars (Ron Wood, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Slash, Mick Hucknall) who are generally not inspired alongside the Master. Even though there are some nice moments, the program seem, most of the times, without flame sorely lacking in dynamism.