Brooks Hadda

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  • Brooks Hadda - Queen Of The Boogie and more (CD)


    Hadda Brooks has the triple distinction of being the first artist signed to the fledgling Modern Music Company, the first to release a 78 rpm single and the first to have her own album, Queen Of The Boogie on Modern. This was a collection of 78s housed in a special book, the style used until the long playing vinyl album format was introduced in 1948. Queen Of the Boogie was a showcase for Hadda’s pianistic prowess and her only album released during her first tenure with Modern. Although Ace has issued Hadda’s Modern repertoire extensively, they have never released Queen Of The Boogie as it was heard back in the mid-1940s. To coincide with Modern’s 70th anniversary they have restored the original six-track album to catalogue and augment it with a further 18 tracks, 14 previously unissued, from Hadda’s vast Modern inventory. Apart from Bully Wully Boogie and Juke Box Boogie none of these have appeared on CD before. Several are recent acetate discoveries, unearthed in the course of Ace’s ongoing research into the Modern catalogue. Whether swinging a blues or boogieing up a classical storm, Hadda was always great value musically. The four CDs that Ace has issued so far are a testament to her popularity and artistry. This fifth one further reinforces her importance, and her influence on those who followed in her musical footsteps.

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  • Brooks Hadda - That’s Where I Came In (CD)




    I cottoned on to Hadda Brooks fairly early – or so I thought. In 1950 I purchased I Hadn’t Anyone But You, on London Records, her first UK release. Sometime later I witnessed her performing that selfsame Ray Noble song in the Bogart film In A Lonely Place. Then, one night at the Wembley Pool, during a Harlem Globetrotters basketball game, somebody wheeled a piano out into the middle of the auditorium. A loudspeaker blurted that, during the interval, we’d be entertained by Miss Hadda Brooks! And for fifteen glorious minutes Hadda sang and played superbly, in intimate style, while the audience generally indulged in grabbing crisps and ice-creams or merely heading for the nearest loo, totally ignoring Hadda doing it Steinway and leaving me mentally screaming.

    In truth, Hadda had achieved much before I’d ever heard of her. It was back in 1945 when jukebox operator Jules Bihari first took a personal shine to both her looks and her talent and formed Modern as a record label on which to display Hadda’s abundant talent as a boogie pianist. Dubbed Queen Of The Boogie, Hadda began knocking out eight-to-a-bar instrumental singles with alacrity, accruing the kind of sales that allowed Bihari to eventually sign such artists as B.B. King, Etta James, Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers, Elmore James and others.

    The possessor of a sultry, seductive vocal delivery, the woman born Hadda Hopwood moved on from boogie heaven at the close of 1946, when, with a modicum of prompting from bandleader Charlie Barnet, she emerged as a singer of songs for the early hour, a classy, supper-club diva. Her vocal debut for Modern, You Won’t Let Me Go, proved a steady seller but it was the follow-up, a version of That’s My Desire, an old song that was being popularised by Frankie Laine, that broke Hadda big-time. In mid-1947 it clambered to #3 in the Billboard Race/R&B chart, after which the girl from LA’s Boyle Heights became a hot property. King of Swing Benny Goodman heard her and recommended her to film director Lee Jason who cast her in a movie called Out Of The Blue. Next came a spot in In A Lonely Place, followed by The Bad And The Beautiful, a Lana Turner and Kirk Douglas star vehicle. Then, in 1957, she moved on to become the first black America woman to head her own weekly television programme, The Hadda Brooks Show, which ran for 26 weeks.

    In Britain the name Hadda Brooks meant little, except to just a few knowing music fans. The Modern recordings, with which she had established her reputation as a performer, had no outlet in this country. Even the later releases on London dried up after just four singles found their way into the UK catalogue. For years, Hadda Brooks. British admirers had a thin time of things. Until, that is, Ace began a series of CD issues that has resulted in the release of Swingin’ The Boogie” (CDCHM 889), which documented Hadda’s era as boogie royalty, ”Romance In The Dark” (CDSHD 453) a gorgeous collection of hits, bits and boogies, and now, THAT’S WHERE I CAME IN (CDCHD 1046), a truly remarkable compilation of smoky standards, most of which have never seen the light of day before.

    A wonderfully relaxed offering, it features Hadda mainly in a trio setting, with her keyboard and vocal work often punctuated by guitar licks courtesy of ever-inventive Spirits Of Rhythm founder member Teddy Bunn. The songs on the album are sheer quality all the way, ranging from such long-life heart-tuggers as Irving Berlin’s Always, Fred Ahlert’s I’ll Get By, Kern-Hammerstein’s Why Was I Born? Along with Vernon Duke and Ira Gershwin’s I Can’t Get Started, through to This Will Make You Laugh, a song that formed one of Nat Cole’s earliest and loveliest recordings: I Must Have That Man, Adelaide Hall’s torchy show-stopper from Blackbirds of 1928, plus the sly Anna Lucasta, a British song inspired by Philip Yordan’s twice-filmed play about a waterfront prostitute. Add copious insert notes by the long-time Hadda Brooks add”

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  • Brooks Hadda - Swingin` The Boogie (CD)


    Jatkoa Oscar McLollielle…Ace:n vanhat 10albumit nyt cd:nä! Mukana bonusbiisejä! I

    – The second ”Ace 10 Inch CD” pays tribute to ”The First Lady Of Modern Records”, the late Hadda Brooks (1916-2002).

    -Whereas our previous Brooks release (CDCHD 453) mostly showcased Hadda’s sultry vocal stylings, this package is a 98% instrumental affair that draws its content from the many invigorating boogie pieces she recorded for Modern between 1945 and 1951 – including, for the first time on a legit CD, both sides of Modern’s debut 78rpm release!

    – Despite the ”all-boogie” tag there’s plenty of variation in style and tempo here. None of these tracks have been anthologised for CD release in the UK before, and several have never been released before in any format.

    – Piano boogie and 10″ albums were made for each other and, as proven here, few are more adept at making such a relationship work than our Miss Brooks.

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  • Brooks Hadda - Blue & Boogie:The Empress Of The Torch Blues (CD)


    The Queen Of Boogie appears on big neon lights playing main role for the magical mix of Swing, Boogie and Blues that shook the 40`s. This CD focuses on her delicious ambiguity in her classic Modern and Okeh recordings (1945-1952)….

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  • Brooks Hadda - Romance In The Dark-The Modern Recordings (CD)


    The artist who put Modern Records on the musical map was perhaps surprisingly not BB King or Elmore James or John Lee Hooker but a beautiful, classically trained pianist named Hadda Brooks. Brooks created a young, hip style – a boogie pianist not averse to boogie-ing the classics (check out her recording Schubert’s Serenade In Boogie) she was also a fine singer of blues and standards. Hadda charted with numbers like That’s My Desire (No 4 on the Race charts), Out Of The Blue (No 9 and from her first movie in 1947) and Honey, Honey, Honey (all on this CD). Hadda’s main boogie inspiration was the Kansas City ivory whupper Pete Johnson and she gives a few nods in his direction on Bully Wully Boogie. After a spell in the movies – with Humphrey Bogart, Kirk Douglas and Lana Turner – Hadda returned to Modern for a session in 1951 on which she was backed by the Count Basic Orchestra. When A Woman Cries, Tough On My Heart, I Feel So Good and Don’t Call It Love are among the recordings here from that final Modern session. Hadda went on to cut sides for Okeh, host a 1953 Los Angeles TV show, work the night club circuit and in 1993 be inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Foundation Hall Of Fame at the Hollywood Palace.

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