Sunday, June 14, 2009
Blues standards (A to Z) : After Hours
Erskine Hawkins Orchestra feat. Avery Parrish - After Hours (buy) (1940)
Clifton Chenier - Blues After Hours (buy) (1969)
This instrumental blues piece was first written and arranged by Avery Parrish who played piano in Erskine Hawkins Orchestra (photo below), for Bluebird records in 1940. The slow walking bass and right hand melody are easily recognizable and deliver a perfect wee-wee hours athmosphere, with smoky bar and sleepy pianist. The horn section only comes in at the very end of the song.
It was covered by numerous blues and jazz musicians. In jazz, Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Jimmy Smith or Roy Haynes tried their hands at it.
Blues musicians include other pianists like Blind John Davis, Jay McShann or Pinetop Perkins, and guitar players like Pee Wee Crayton or Roy Buchanan.
And last but not least, the Clifton Chenier version for accordion and zydeco band, from his "Sings the Blues" album released by Arhoolie in 1987 but recorded by Roy C. Ames in Houston, Texas on April 1, 1969 and first released on Prophesy and Home Cooking labels.
As for Avery Parrish, according to All About Jazz, he "left the Hawkins orchestra in 1941, moved to California, and subsequently got into a bar fight. He suffered partial paralysis and never played again, at the age of 24. He died under mysterious circumstances at 42, in 1959".