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35th Anniversary Jam

Artist James Cotton
Title 35th Anniversary Jam
Release Date Sunday, November 22, 2015
Genre Blues > Chicago Blues > Modern Electric Chicago Blues
Copyright © Telarc
Country GERMANY

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Blues Legend James Cotton celebrates a storming party with many friends and fans

James CottonJames Cotton (born July 1, 1935 is an American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter, who has performed and recorded with many of the great blues artists of his time as well as with his own band. Although he played drums early in his career, Cotton is famous for his work on the harmonica. Cotton began his professional career playing the blues harp in Howlin' Wolf's band in the early 1950s He made his first recordings in Memphis for Sun Records under the direction of Sam Phillips. In 1955, he was recruited by Muddy Waters to come to Chicago and join Waters' band. Cotton became Muddy's band leader and stayed with Waters' group until 1963 In 1965 he formed the Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet, with Otis Spann on piano to record between gigs with Muddy Waters' band and eventually left Waters to form his own full-time touring group. His first full album, on the Verve label, was produced by guitarist Mike Bloomfield and vocalist/songwriter Nick Gravenites, both of whom were later members of the band Electric Flag. In the 1970s, Cotton played harmonica on Muddy Waters' Grammy Award winning 1977 album Hard Again, produced by Johnny Winter.CareerBorn in Tunica, Mississippi, United States, Cotton became interested in music when he first heard Sonny Boy Williamson II on the radio. He left home with his uncle and moved to West Helena, Arkansas, finding Williamson there. For many years Cotton claimed that he told Williamson that he was an orphan, and that Williamson took him in and raised him; a story he admitted in recent years is not true. Williamson did however mentor Cotton during his early years. When Williamson left the south to live with his estranged wife in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he left his band in Cotton's hands. Cotton was quoted as saying, "He just gave it to me. But I couldn't hold it together 'cause I was too young and crazy in those days an' everybody in the band was grown men, so much older than me."Although he played drums early in his career, Cotton is famous for his work on the harmonica. Cotton began his professional career playing the blues harp in Howlin' Wolf's band in the early 1950s. He made his first recordings as a solo artist for the Sun Records label in Memphis, Tennessee in 1953. In 1954, he recorded an electric blues single "Cotton Crop Blues" which featured a heavily distorted power chord-driven electric guitar solo by Pat Hare.[6] Cotton began to work with the Muddy Waters Band around 1955. He performed songs such as "Got My Mojo Working" and "She's Nineteen Years Old", although he did not appear on the original recordings; long-time Muddy Waters harmonica player Little Walter was utilized on most of Muddy's recording sessions in the 1950s. Cotton's first recording session with Waters took place in June 1957, and he would alternate with Little Walter on Muddy's recording sessions until the end of the decade.In 1965 he formed the Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet, utilizing Otis Spann on piano to record between gigs with Muddy Waters' band. Their performances were captured by producer Samuel Charters on volume two of the Vanguard recording Chicago/The Blues/Today!. After leaving Muddy's band in 1966, Cotton toured with Janis Joplin while pursuing a solo career. He formed the James Cotton Blues Band in 1967. They mainly performed their own arrangements of popular blues and R&B material from the 1950s and 1960s. Cotton formed a blues band, which included a horn section, in the tradition of Bobby Bland. After Bland's death, his son told news media that Bland had recently discovered that James Cotton was his half-brotherIn the 1970s, Cotton recorded several albums with Buddah Records. Cotton played harmonica on Muddy Waters' Grammy Award winning 1977 album Hard Again, produced by Johnny Winter. In the 1980s he recorded for Chicago's Alligator Records, and rejoined the Alligator roster in 2010. The James Cotton Blues Band received a Grammy nomination in 1984 for Live From Chicago: Mr. Superharp

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