The blues may have been his meat and potatoes, but Big Joe Turner shows in this CD that he could serve up substantial side dishes of standards. In his many albums for Pablo, the great Kansas City blues shouter addressed a few standard songs, a "Sweet Lorraine" here, a "Time After Time" there. But in The Midnight Special, he gives us four gems from the Great American Songbook, each in two takes. His "You're Driving Me Crazy" has the verve of "Moten Swing," the Kansas City instrumental classic it inspired. Turner's blues buddies are in the rhythm section, and there are delightful horn solos from saxophonist Curtis Peagler, Roy Brewster on baritone horn, and Jake Porter, a songwriter, publisher, and brash trumpeter whose playing experience went all the way back to James Reese Europe and World War I. Turner's blues selections include the monumentally suggestive "Stoop Down Baby."
with Curtis Peagler, Jake Porter, Roy Brewster, Curtis Kirk, Sylvester Scott, Cal Green, Bobby Haynes, Washington Rucker