New Genius of the Blues/ More Heavy Soul! [Import][CD]
In 1987 BGP was launched with a three-track single featuring the biggest titles on the current jazz dance scene. The title track - which remains a favourite and crossed over - was a short organ-led blues number 'O Baby (I Believe I'm Losing You)' by Billy Hawks. The record moved from the jazz scene to the mod scene where it became an anthem. Apart from the information on his two Prestige album sleeves, little was known. Having tracked down his brother we have found out that he has died, but little else. The two albums - gathered together here - were recorded in 1966 and 1967 for Prestige, and feature trio and quartet settings. Alongside Hawks on vocals and organ are the accomplished guitarists Maynard Parker and Ivan "Boogaloo Joe" Jones. They set up a pounding rhythmic organ and vocal groove shot through with soul. His versions of 'I Got a Woman' and 'Got My Mojo Working' are incendiary and originals such as 'O Baby' and 'Whip It on Me' thrilling. Until recently Billy had remained a fairly mysterious character. The booklet contains a new interview with Billy's brother Leroy, plus the first photographs of Billy to be printed since these albums were rediscovered in the 1980s.
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