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Joe Lutcher - Ojai
7" Vinyl
Out Of Stock

Joe Lutcher


Jukebox Jam Series

Released: 28th February 2011 | 2 track classic r&b single
Fans of Jukebox Jam know we don't like to stay too predictable with our releases, and true to form here is another truly unique sound, the red-hot Latin Jazz accented R&B instrumental 'Ojai' from bandleader Joe Lutcher. Originally pressed only on 78rpm for the Modern label, this appears here on 45rpm vinyl for the very first time, whilst the B-side alternate take has never been available on any kind of record at all! Like with our last release, Etta James' 'Nobody Loves Me Like You', as this is thus the first 45rpm outing for both sides, we have used the original Modern logo for authenticity (with kind permission). It's almost impossible to believe that this music is over 60 years old, but that is indeed the case, Ojai (pronounced Oh-High and named after the region in California) was cut in 1949. Lutcher was at that point a state-wide renowned bandleader, having assembled a first rate Jump Blues combo and recorded a healthy number of sides through the 40s, but his career was always played out somewhat in the shadow of his rather more successful sister Nellie. Nevertheless, Lutcher did score some modest hits in his own right, though Ojai didn't really register as such at the time. Small wonder really, it's hardly the most instantly commercial of sounds and there isn't too much in Lutcher's wider repertoire which is remotely similar. With its Eastern / Minor Chord / Latin Jazz feel, Ojai bears the clear influence of Ellington, but what is more striking is the heaviness of the rhythm and percussion. I'm not sure what had possessed Lutcher and his band that afternoon in '49 but I wish they had repeated the experiment again. As it is, the song stands as unique both within Lutcher's catalogue and within R&B in general, an ahead-of-it's-time one-off. What an absolute scorcher, a killer diller, a real knockout, 'Ojai' is all of 'em and more! !!! Limited Run - Only 500 copies pressed !!!