Esquerita's Best Collected Into One Small, Awesome Package
Posted by Robert D. Harrison (The Conductor In Black) on 20th May 2016
Of all the obscure, lost in the shuffle shufflers of The Big Beat's early years unearthed by Nortonia's first couple Billy Miller and Miriam Linna, Esquerita occupies an important place in Norton Records' history. But the actual recordings Eskew made for Capitol in the late-1950's are collected on a twenty-eight cut coaster compiled by Collector's Choice. Never my first choice for re-issues (try finding composer info on some of their past releases...and, as a poor DJ I'm required to enter that info on my playlists), this disc stands as the only true collection of his red-hot Capitol catalog available on this side of the earth. Ron Furmanek and Steve Kolangian did an excellent job assembling this release, providing all pertinent info us record rustlers require, PLUS...the sound quality is top notch. I just wish the quality of all of C.C.'s library were all as good as this one. If you purchase this disc not having heard Esquerita before, PLEASE refrain from using Little Richard as a watermark or yardstick to measure his worth as a performer. Just listen to what The Man With the Voola has to offer. I always assumed that Norton Records had already created The Ultimate collection of Eskew Reeder Jr.'s work. They didn't, but they did the next best thing: enough dirt and commotion about this long lost legend was kicked-up in Kicks Magazine to light a fire up someone's ass and, at the very least, inspire them to fill a glaring hole in the marketplace AND honor the memory and music of one scary, entertaining druthermucker.