Essential reissue of blues giant Jimmy Witherspoon's self-titled 1960 LP for the Crown label. It's a great overview of Witherspoon's early career (featuring material recorded between 1949 and 1951), when he – like other R&B singers of the period was purveying a brand of West Coast blues that could both swing and croon. Spoon's inimitable vocal style is ideally suited to the intimate, relaxed musical accompaniment that Modern label executive Joe Bihari surrounded him with here.
On this LP you can find some R&B staples recorded in the studio ("Have a Ball," "Fickle Woman," and "Good Jumpin'"), featuring some of the greatest session cats of the day, such as tenor men Buddy Floyd and Maxwell Davis, along with bassist Bill Davis, guitarist Mitchell "Tiny" Webb, and Spoon's mentor from Kansas City, Jay McShann at the piano.
There are also a bunch of fine sides recorded live on May 10, 1949, at a Just Jazz concert in Pasadena, California (including "Ain't Nobody's Business (If I Do)," "No Rollin' Blues," and "Big Fine Girl"), on which he is backed by the excellent quartet of Gene Gilbeaux with a spontaneous rawness unusual even by the standards of this period.