Brother John Sellers
In 1954 Brother John Sellers recorded two LPs for Vanguard. They were produced by John Hammond and it looked as though the singer's career was on the up swing! Three years later Brother John began a brief European tour with a one month series of engagements in England with the Chris Barber band. Big Bill Broonzy, the legendary blues singer, was the headliner of this package. At the end of the tour John recorded an LP for English Decca with a handpicked band under the leadership of Al Fairweather.
At the end of the UK tour Brother John headed to Paris for a three week appearance at the Trois Mailletz with instrumental support from a group under the leadership of Guy Lafitte. His “shouting” style of blues singing was an immediate success with Parisian audiences. Guy Lafitte's combo supported the vocals in an authentic and swinging manner.
The first four tunes on this CD come from a session in May 1957 which produced four tunes issued originally on an extended play 45. The arrangements were created by pianist Georges Arvanitas and the music was sparked by Pierre Michelot's bass and Kenny Clarke's drums.
Brother John remained in Europe for another nine months. He made side trips to Belgium but his permanent base was at Trois Mailletz. Shortly before returning home he recorded an LP for French Columbia (once again Georges Arvanitas was responsible for the swinging arrangements) with an eight piece combo. There are solos by Bill Coleman, Claude Gousset, Michel de Villers and Guy Lafitte (a masterful tenor saxophonist within the style of Coleman Hawkins).
Brother John Sellers' “jump” style of the blues is heard here at its best. He works within the genre created by Joe Turner, Wynonie Harris, Jimmy Witherspoon and Jimmy Rushing. His sound and phrasing are uniquely his own and this hidden gem is finally back in circulation.
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