A “This Historic Day In Music” Double Header: Jimmy Raney & John Hiatt

In my small-but-carefully-selected collection of Jazz guitar albums, I have only one by Jimmy Raney. 

The LP is called Momentum. It showcases Jimmy in a trio with Richard Davis on bass violin and Alan Dawson on drums. Judging by the fact that Momentum was released in 1975, I’m guessing that I heard about Jimmy Raney from either an article or a review in Guitar Player magazine, which I had started subscribing to at about that time.

In the liner notes on the record’s jacket, vibraphonist Terry Gibbs is quoted as saying that “Jimmy was one of the first to grasp the Charlie Parker lyricism and turn it into long, flowing lines of his own. He’s a spontaneously melodic player.”

In The All Music Guide to Jazz, Scott Yanow writes: “Jimmy Raney was the definitive cool Jazz guitarist, a fluid Bop soloist with a quiet sound who had a great deal of inner fire.” 

The last cut on the album is the trio’s take on the 1931 John Klenner & Sam Lewis composition “Just Friends.” Here it is.

Jimmy Raney was born on this day, August 20, in 1927, in Louisville, Kentucky. He passed away on May 10, 1995.

I first heard about singer/songwriter/guitarist John Hiatt thanks to the well deserved praise and publicity that he received upon the release of his eighth album, Bring The Family, in 1987.

As much as that album made me a fan of John Hiatt, my favorite album of his is his 1990 release, Stolen Moments.

I purchased Stolen Moments on cassette and listened to it over many months, rocking my way to and from work, thanks to the tape deck and excellent speakers in my beloved 1997 Honda Accord.

My favorite song from Stolen Moments is “Child of the Wild Blue Yonder.” It’s one of those “I must learn how to play and sing this” songs that I eventually did learn how to play and sing, but in a decidedly different way than John Hiatt does.

Here’s the original.

John Hiatt was born on this day, August 20, in 1952, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Happy Birthday, John.

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