This double-CD set gave bassist Milt Hinton an opportunity to engage in reunions with many of his old friends from the 1930s. The seven sessions were compiled during a 12-month period and the results are often delightful. The opening "Old Man Time" is sung by Hinton himself, and it is both insightful and humorous. The other highlights include Joe Williams singing "Four or Five Times" (which features some very rare Flip Phillips clarinet), three bass guitar duets with Danny Barker, appearances by Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry, Al Grey, Ralph Sutton, and the formation of a group called "The Survivors" that has guitarist Al Casey at age 75 being the youngest member; the latter band also includes 85-year-old trumpeter Doc Cheatham, Eddie Barefield, Buddy Tate and even Cab Calloway. A lot of storytelling takes place during the songs and, in addition to the 92½ minutes of music, there are two "Jazzspeaks." The 13-minute one features Hinton, Calloway, Cheatham and Barefield reminiscing about their experiences in the early days, while a marvelous 45-minute monologue by the bassist covers most of his long and productive life and is consistently fascinating. Highly recommended.
Lucky Peterson got his grounding in the blues from his father's friends, and since his father was blues guitarist and singer James Peterson, who also owned the Governor's Inn, a premier blues nightclub in Buffalo, New York, those friends included folks like Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, and Bill Doggett. Peterson had a career as a child prodigy on the Hammond B-3, even scoring an R&B hit with the Willie Dixon-produced "1-2-3-4," the novelty of it all landing him appearances on The Tonight Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, and others, and his debut album appeared in 1969. But it was the blues that claimed Peterson as an adult, by which time he was not only an accomplished piano and organ player, but also a quite competent vocalist and an impressive guitarist with a soaring and emotionally searing style on the instrument. This set finds him placed in a retro Chicago blues setting, with horns added in where appropriate, and Peterson is quite at home here, bringing an exuberant sincerity to the opener, "Proud to Love My Baby," and delivering the title tune, "Traveling Man," with passion and urgency, while bringing a funky groove to "Get on Down," which spotlights his piano playing.