This expanded compilation brings Ace’s reissues of compilation LPs from their namesake’s catalogue to a close. Essential for hardcore fans, each new edition has bolstered the original LP running orders with extra tracks, while also improving the sound quality.
The US-based label put out a wealth of collectable talent during its 50s-60s heyday, represented on this volume by the likes of Joe Tex, Bobby Marchan and Huey Smith, but there’s also a mix of lesser-known names. Jesse Allen’s Goodbye Blues sums up the label’s appeal, its horn-punctuated easy rolling arrangement showing just how simpatico the musicians were with each other.
Key collectable tracks here include Teenage Wedding from Johnny Angel (aka Jimmy Lee Fautheree) and Frankie Lee Sims’ Walking With Frankie, which is a particularly pleasing slab of Mississippi blues riffage. Elsewhere, there are plenty of examples of New Orleans’ infectious music – though there’s also, arguably, a growing example of song recycling. Still, Alvin Tyler’s distinctive saxophone and the overall down-home feel remains impossible not to enjoy.