Following her highly successful explorations of the Motown and Chess catalogues, Lois Wilson (Mojo, Record Collector) turns her attention to the iconic Manhattan-based Atlantic Records with 'Right Now', an 86-track 3CD set or 32 track 2xLP. Atlantic Records was founded in 1947 by Ahmet Ertegun and Herb Abramson. Other key participants in the company’s rise to success included studio engineer Tom Dowd, eminent record man Jerry Wexler, Ahmet’s brother Nesuhi, who developed the company’s substantial and highly successful jazz catalogue, and the dynamic songwriting / production team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Crucial early signings included Joe Turner, Ruth Brown, Ray Charles, Chuck Willis, Clyde McPhatter and LaVern Baker.
All those names are represented here, alongside other performers who recorded for Atlantic and its subsidiary Atco (founded in 1955) in the forties, fifties and early sixties; years which saw the evolution of rhythm & blues into soul. The diversity of Atlantic’s roster is represented by the presence of early Atlantic hit-makers Stick McGhee and Joe Morris, consummate soul singers Solomon Burke, Ben E. King, Bettye LaVette and Barbara Lewis, a pre-Motown Isley Brothers, New Orleans piano man Professor Longhair, saxophonists Willis “Gator” Jackson and King Curtis, blues guitar pioneer T-Bone Walker, Louisiana rock ’n’ roller Dale Hawkins, jazz singer Mel Torme, and the vocal group sound of the Clovers, the Coasters and the Falcons (then including Wilson Pickett and Mack Rice in their ranks). Some of these recordings were acknowledged successes from their initial release; others have acquired popularity among collectors and on the club scene over the intervening decades.
Atlantic’s highly-regarded jazz catalogue deserves a survey of its own, and 'Right Now' also eschews many of the labels’ very biggest hits, on the grounds that they are easily found elsewhere. Instead, 'Right Now' offers club-friendly and often-overlooked, deep catalogue selections drawn from the wealth of rhythm & rock released on the hallowed label. The big names mentioned so far are joined by key cuts from Jean DuShon, Jimmy Ricks, King Coleman, Richie Barrett, the Top Notes, Eunice Davis, Dean Beard, Choker Campbell, Johnny Jenkins, Billy Storm, the Tarantulas and the Van Dykes. Time for a deep delve into the depths of Atlantic.
FORMAT INFORMATION2xLP Info: 2LP vinyl collector’s edition featuring 32 of the most sought-after cuts from the 86-track 3CD set, drawing on 15 years of recordings for the iconic Atlantic label and its offshoot Atco.
3xCD Info: An 86 track 3CD set with 20pp illustrated booklet, compiled and annotated by Lois Wilson (Mojo, Record Collector)