Re: little walter ripped off Juke from snooky pryor
- Subject: Re: little walter ripped off Juke from snooky pryor
- From: PL500@xxxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 28 May 2003 17:48:21 EDT
In a message dated 5/28/03 3:59:49 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
> One lick does not a Juke make. Snooky played that lick, but so did
> hundreds of swing musicians on several instruments, all through the
> 1930s and 1940s. It is well known that Little Walter copped licks and
> ideas from swing and jump musicians, and that several songs attributed
> to him are remakes of older R&B records dating from the late 1930s -
> see the recent Little Walter biography for details.
> Junior Wells has also been credited with a set-closer instrumental that
> was "stolen" for Juke. But who, aside from Walter, went beyond that
> famous opening lick to create the amazing work of instrumental
> architecture that foreshadows one part with another, creating dynamic
> commentaries and witty variations, building from verse to verse - and
> all totally improvised, as the nothing-like-it surviving alternate take
> attests? Nobody but Walter did that, and it sppears that he only did it
Amen and amen!
Little Walter's work on "Juke" is unmatched. Snooky Pryor is a good harp
player, but I would say that he is nowhere near the skill, taste, and ability of
Little Walter. That's not a "dis" against Snooky Pryor, but just a realization
of Walter's serious, serious ability to come up with memorable and classic
material on the fly. Pryor is a great player, but Walter was one of those shining
gems that pops up every 20 years or so and tends to define the craft.
Regardless, we as harp players owe a great debt to both Snooky Pryor and Little
Walter for the work they have laid down for us, for surely anything which we
produce will be defined by the wake which they left behind.
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