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JB Lenoir: I Wanna Play A Little While...

Album Review

A 10-year survey of a unique and remarkable singer.

The name JB Lenoir is not often dropped in blues discussions these days, perhaps because he died – still only in his 30s – in 1967, and so just missed the opportunities that fell to near-contemporaries of Chicago blues like Buddy Guy and Otis Rush.

But calling him a Chicago bluesman risks giving the wrong impression of him. Yes, he made many records there, with fellow craftsmen such as Sunnyland Slim, Little Brother Montgomery (and his lesser-known pianist brother Joe) and tenor saxophonist JT Brown. This exhaustive 58-track double CD diligently assembles both his issued recordings on Chess/Checker, JOB, Parrot, Shad and Vee-Jay and a similar number of unissued ones.

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