Has anybody else dipped into the Chess reissues of the last year or two?
I never thought the label was well-served by prior reissues, excluding the Chess boxes. But the newer collections - like three volumes of Bo Diddley and the indescribably good Little Walter set (where has this music been all my life?)are first rate.
Yes, you have the "two or three takes in a row" thing, which can be a problem. But this music is so good and so strange - that's what I wasn't expecting and it's the point the late Robert Palmer makes in one of the essays collected in "Blues & Chaos," that the real anarchy was in the first wave of rock n' roll.
Example: there is a track on the second Bo Diddley collection that sounds as inspired and as odd as Ornette Coleman does when plays his violin. It's nothing I would have expected, and I'm sure it was dashed off in the studio in one take and promptly forgotten. But there it is, and the fact that nobody even thought it was peculiar for an r & b guy in 1959 to try music in that way is something.
The Little Walter, which I have a toe into, is amazing. The sound he got shocks me - it's overwhelming.
Anyway, I'd be curious if anyone else is listening to this stuff, and what you make of it.