Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 3 (1931-1938) by Coot Grant & Kid Wilson

Label: Document Records
Release Date: January 2, 1998
Releases: September 7, 2000
Recording Time: 69 minutes
Recording Date: September 18, 1931 - May 26, 1938

Styles: Vaudeville Blues, Classic Female Blues, Early Jazz, Swing

Vol. 3 in Document's nearly complete chronological tribute to Coot Grant and Kid Wilson presents what appears to be everything they recorded between 1931 and 1938 for the Columbia, Okeh, Oriole, Vocalion and Decca labels. Famous during the '20s as the counterpart to Butterbeans & Susie, Grant and Wilson were incredibly active as songwriters; estimates of their output range from 350 to 400 titles. Some of their best tunes show up in the Bessie Smith discography; most important perhaps are four songs written especially for her last recording session in 1933. The rowdiest of these, "Gimme a Pigfoot," contained a phrase that had appeared five years earlier as the title of Grant and Wilson's first side for Columbia, "Rasslin' 'Till the Wagon Comes." Other Grant and Wilson titles associated with the Empress of the Blues include "Take Me for a Buggy Ride" and the sexually aggressive "Do Your Duty," heard here as the flipside to "Keep Your Hands off My Mojo." This thrilling three-CD chronology closes with four selections that are the crowning glory of Grant and Wilson's recording career. Waxed on May 26, 1938, these sides often appear on Sidney Bechet compilations as the superb accompanying band consisted of clarinetist and soprano saxophonist Bechet, trumpeter Charlie Shavers and a tough rhythm section composed of Sammy Price, Teddy Bunn, Wellman Braud and O'Neill Spencer. This was not Grant and Wilson's last recording session; in 1946, five years after the birth of their only child, Bobby Wilson, they cut a few sides with a quintet co-led by Sidney Bechet and Mezz Mezzrow. Grant and Wilson participated in Mezzrow's "Really the Blues" Concert at New York's Town Hall on January 1, 1947; they continued to perform until Wilson's declining health forced them to retire in 1949. One very important part of their legacy needs to be acknowledged: Grant and Wilson made a point of encouraging aspiring Afro-American performers and hooking them up with showbiz connections. One individual who benefited in this way was Jackie "Moms" Mabley. Another was vocalist and saxophonist Louis Jordan, who scored his first recording session for Decca in 1938 largely thanks to the intervention of Kid Wilson. It was Wilson who had collaborated with J. Mayo Williams years earlier in composing "Do You Call That a Buddy?" This song was destined to become a major hit for Louis Jordan, and was covered by Louis Armstrong, Larry Clinton and the Andrews Sisters. Grant and Wilson can be seen performing in DuBose Heyward's 1933 motion picture adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's The Emperor Jones, starring the great Paul Robeson.
by arwulf arwulf

Credits: Sidney Bechet - clarinet, sax (soprano); Wellman Braud - bass; Teddy Bunn - guitar; Coot Grant - primary artist; Johnny Parth - compilation producer, producer; Sammy Price - piano; Charlie Shavers - trumpet; O'Neill Spencer - drums; Gerhard Wessely - remastering; Kid Wilson - primary artist; Leola B. Wilson - vocals; Sox Wilson - vocals; Wesley Wilson - composer, piano, vocals.

Tracks: 1) I don't want that stale stuff; 2) You can't do that to me; 3) Keep your hands off my mojo; 4) Do your duty; 5) I can't get enough; 6) Jive lover; 7) Dirty spoon blues; 8) Water trough blues; 9) Toot it, Brother Armstrong (12824); 10) Lollypop; 11) Meat cuttin' blues; 12) Whippin' the wolf; 13) Take it outa here; 14) Save a little bit for me; 15) Lay your racket down; 16) Take me for a buggy ride; 17) Do it again; 18) Hot papa, that out; 19) Daddy what you done to me; 20) Uncle Joe (63873); 21) I am a woman; 22) Toot it, Brother Armstrong (63875); 23) Blue Monday on Sugar Hill.