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Big Joe Turner: Live 1983

Album Review

King of the blues shouters captured in still-peerless form.

The year 1983 is when Joe Turner was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, acknowledging his part in the evolution of American music.

For most of the 70s, the 300-pound-plus giant had put his pioneering rock‘n’roll era behind him, favouring the jazz circuit.

Thankfully, the young musicians he teams with here, including bandleader Lee Allen of The Blasters, Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin and piano wizard Gene Taylor, prized Turner’s primetime period. Their devotion ensures a splendid last hurrah, as the big man revisits Shake, Rattle & Roll, Corrina Corrina and other diamond-cutter classics.  

This rough and rowdy recording may not be A-plus quality but the power of Turner’s mighty tenor, ably accommodating his hard-living scars, presides over all. No singer ever swung this hard and his knack for dizzying acceleration and self-determination still a wonder to behold.

Via Floating World

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