Tragar & Note Labels

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rovi.MR0001886353 6/24/08 Used
$13.99

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    Tragar & Note Labels Numero
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Review

Review Text The 20th release by the Numero label focuses on the little-known soul scene in Atlanta during the late '60s , specifically the Tragar and Note imprints run by the iconic Jesse Jones. Jones was a saxophonist by trade and began his road career in the business as a teen with Jimmy Witherspoon -- not just playing but arranging, too. Jones was possessed of a deeply entrepreneurial spirit, and was a hard worker who believed passionately in the music and in his artists. After doing time in Los Angeles at Specialty with Robert "Bumps" Blackwell and Art Rupe, he recorded a number of sides for Ebb that went nowhere and founded his first label, called Lita, and later Four-J Records. Jones went broke in L.A. and returned to Atlanta where he founded Tragar, and later Note. There are 50 cuts spread over these two discs, and a number of them are unreleased; while they are not the complete vaults of these two labels, they tell their collective stories well. As has been the wont of Numero, they reissue music from the catalogs that succeeded regionally at best or not at all: labels that may have wanted to play the game in Los Angeles and New York but, for various reasons, were blacklisted. Jones was one of these men, which makes these recordings all the more remarkable -- perhaps not always musically, but simply that they exist at all -- due only to Jones' indefatigable spirit. A couple of tracks here were recorded by "Tokay" Lewis, aka "Bobby" Lewis, aka soul legend Barbara Lewis. One only need hear "What Can the Matter Be," a self-penned post-divorce soulful blues that drips heartbreak, bewilderment, and rage with killer electric guitar. The guitar work of J.D. Morris is a constant counter-wail to that of Lewis, and the track works beautifully. Particularly noteworthy in the history of these hard-bitten labels are the various sides cut by Eula Cooper. Right, you never heard of her. Too bad, but then, most of us haven't -- until now. "Try," with its bright sunshiny B-3, stellar high-register horns, strings, and tight little snare and tom-tom breaks, provides a gorgeous mix of expansive late-'60s soul, psych-textured pop, and the musical sophistication that Isaac Hayes and David Porter at Stax and Motown's Marvin Gaye were beginning to explore -- but the Southern sound is permanently etched in the grooves. Proof in the pudding of this is her 45 "Shake Daddy Shake," with its gritty, off-kilter, but in-the-pocket rhythm and tough horns that threaten but do not overwhelm Cooper's gorgeous voice. It's pointless to go into this more, because 90 to 95 percent of these tracks would qualify for their own reviews. There is so much here from "The House That Jesse Built" that the intrinsic value of this lies in the grooves and in the package, which includes an absolutely wonderful long-form historical essay by Rob Sevier and Numero boss Ken Shipley with help from Brian Proust. The 32-page booklet is littered with rare photos and the price is stone cold fair. Anyone interested in the history of American popular music needs to pay close attention to what Shipley and Numero are doing. ~ Thom Jurek

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Down in the Country - 2:21
  2. 2. You Got a Spell on Me - 2:14
  3. 3. Heavenly Father - 2:17
  4. 4. Clown - 3:43
  5. 5. Now That I'm Wise - 4:30
  6. 6. Nitecap - 2:19
  7. 7. I'll Be There - 2:04
  8. 8. Sweet Thing - 2:47
  9. 9. Shake Daddy Shake - 2:52
  10. 10. What Can the Matter Be - 2:26
  11. 11. Love Is So Mean - 3:42
  12. 12. Tumbling Down - 2:14
  13. 13. Love Makes Me Do Foolish Things - 3:56
  14. 14. Too Beautiful to Be Good - 3:35
  15. 15. Tipping Strings - 2:06
  16. 16. Somebody Got'a Help Me - 2:14
  17. 17. Love (It's Been So Long) - 2:58
  18. 18. Strange Feeling - 2:14
  19. 19. I Can't Help It If I Love You - 2:25
  20. 20. Why - 2:57
  21. 21. Who Wants Me Now - 2:17
  22. 22. You're the Only Thing I've Got Going for Me - 3:00
  23. 23. Let Me Be Free - 2:49
  24. 24. Would You Do It for Me - 2:54
  25. 25. Try - 2:15

CD: 2

  1. 26. Watch the Dog That Bring the Bone - 2:18
  2. 27. All Because of You - 2:17
  3. 28. Messing Around - 4:41
  4. 29. Let Our Love Grow Higher - 3:38
  5. 30. Ain't That Sharp - 4:46
  6. 31. Charade - 3:05
  7. 32. Breaking My Heart - 3:32
  8. 33. Love Is Gone - 3:43
  9. 34. I Need You More - 3:05
  10. 35. I Think It's Time (You Were Mine) - 3:43
  11. 36. Hump - 2:08
  12. 37. Beggars Can't Be Choosey - 3:32
  13. 38. Standing by Love - 2:26
  14. 39. Deep in Your Heart - 3:53
  15. 40. You Mean Everything to Me - 4:17
  16. 41. I'll Show You with Love - 4:52
  17. 42. Every Now and Then - 3:39
  18. 43. Love Makes Me Do Foolish Things - 3:45
  19. 44. Have Faith in Me - 3:47
  20. 45. Talk Is Cheap - 3:39
  21. 46. I Can't Stand It - 2:00
  22. 47. Let's Get Funky - 3:39
  23. 48. That's How Much I Love You - 3:35
  24. 49. Black Midnight - 2:20
  25. 50. Potters Field - 3:10

Product Details

Release Date
6/24/08 

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