The Lonnie Johnson Collection 1925-52
Styles: Blues, Jazz
Catalogue Number: ADDCD3140
It’s no exaggeration to say that without Lonnie Johnson, blues guitar would not have developed as it did. He was one of the true pioneers and originators of the genre, and his influence resonates through the playing of later blues guitar legends, including Robert Johnson and T-Bone Walker, and B.B. King cites him as a primary source of inspiration. His owed his versatility on guitar, violin and piano to his upbringing in the musical hotbed of New Orleans, and in his early recordings he spanned the worlds of jazz and blues with ease, working with the likes of Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five, Duke Ellington’s Orchestra and guitarist Eddie Lang, as well as some of the top blues singers of the day. This great-value 48-track 2-CD set traces the first quarter-century or so of a recording career that was interrupted by a decline in fortunes during the Depression but which saw him climb back to popularity during the 1940s with R&B hits on the King label. It provides an excellent showcase for his genuinely unique talent and highly adaptable technique, and admirably demonstrates why his recordings had such an impact on emerging stars of the time.