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B.B. King Jazz Casual

    The B.B. King seen in this 30-minute, 1968 program is a far cry from the amiable patriarch who hawks burgers on TV and sits in with U2 and Eric Clapton. The current B.B. has certainly earned his legendary status, of course, but this is the real thing--a leaner, meaner bluesman, closer to his Mississippi and chitlin' circuit roots but with his trademark stinging guitar leads and bellowing vocals already well established. Joined by a drummer (the redoubtable Sonny Freeman), an organist, and two horn players, King motors through five tight, compact numbers (he's particularly soulful on "Darling You Know I love You," a slow burner) before sitting down with host Ralph J. Gleason. Asked by Gleason what he hopes to achieve, King says, "I'd like the whole world to be able to hear B.B. King sing and play the blues." This fine Jazz Casual installment certainly won't hurt. --Sam Graham


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