As we all make our way through the coronavirus era, the traditional blues, “St. James Infirmary,” seems more apt than ever. A simple yet profound eight-bar blues, this powerful piece has been recorded by everyone from Armstrong to Gillespie. In this episode we explore the history of this blues lament, and sample some of its greatest recordings.
“St. James Infirmary” Hank Jones
“St. James Infirmary” Louis Armstrong
“The Unfortunate Rake” A. L. Lloyd
(all following: “St. James Infirmary”)
Sidney Bechet w. Art Hodes, Sidney deParis
Jimmy Smith, Oliver Nelson, arranger
Published July 9th, 2020 by Bob Hecht