Born in Texas, singing blues pianist Curtis Jones
cut a lot of records in Chicago during the late 1930s, had a hit single on the Parrot label in 1953, and enjoyed a comeback during the '60s that led him to Europe where he lived out the rest of his days as a respected, internationally acclaimed artist. His complete early works (1937-1953) were reissued on four volumes by Document during the '90s; simultaneously, EPM Musique brought out a collection of 25 tracks drawn from his prewar period (1937-1941). What is sure to make EPM's disc much preferable for most 21st century listeners is the use of noise reduction technology to deliver crisper, clearer transfers. Additionally, the titles are well-selected, allowing for a stylistic range from the low-down slowly ambling approach (typified by his two most famous tunes "Lonesome Bedroom Blues" and "Tin Pan Alley") to the bouncier, swing-paced jive of "Who You're Hunchin'," "Solid Jive," "It's a Solid Sender," and "Itty Bitty Jitter Bug." For sound quality, selection, and compact convenience, EPM's Lonesome Bedroom Blues 1937-1941
is virtually unmatched. For a more exhaustively complete history of this artist's early works, the four volumes on Document are quite thorough, and will eventually be reissued and remastered to improve the playback experience -- something to look forward to.