This Classics CD spotlights bandleader and organist Bill Doggett
's earliest sessions for King Records. Recorded in New York and Cincinnati between January 1952 and December 1953, Doggett
is joined by tenor saxophonist Percy France
and drummer Shep Shepherd
, who form the nucleus of this tight R&B combo, supported by a revolving door of guitarists and bassists. The majority of these pre-"Honky Tonk" obscure instrumentals are upbeat, with only the occasional foray into light cocktail jazz and bluesy ballads. Of special interest are the four vocal cuts featuring the debut of the powerfully husky-voiced Mildred Anderson
on "Mistreater," "You Ain't No Good," "Your Kind of Woman," and her first hit, "No More in Life." Even Doggett
takes a rare stab at singing on the pleasant "Please Don't Ever Let Me Go." This is another enjoyable installment in Classics' Blues & Rhythm Series
and is recommended to collectors and casual fans alike.