Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Blues Incorporated were a British R&B band in the early 1960s, which were led by Alexis Korner and which featured at various times such musicians as Jack Bruce, Charlie Watts, Terry Cox, Ginger Baker, Long John Baldry, Danny Thompson, Graham Bond, Cyril Davies, Malcolm Cecil and Dick Heckstall-Smith. Although never very successful commercially, they was extremely influential on the development of British rock music in the 1960s and later.


Korner (1928-1984) was a member of Chris Barber's Jazz Band in the 1950s, and met up with Cyril Davies (1932-1964) who shared his passion for American blues. In 1954 they teamed up as a duo, began playing blues in London clubs, and opened their own club, the London Blues and Barrelhouse Club, where they featured visiting bluesmen from America. The club embraced aspiring young musicians, including in its early days Charlie Watts, Long John Baldry, and Jack Bruce.

In 1961 Korner and Davies formed Blues Incorporated, the first amplified R&B band in Britain, and brought in singer Baldry (sometimes replaced by Art Wood), drummer Watts, bassist Bruce, and saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith. They secured a residency at the Marquee Club, which brought them to the attention of record producer and promoter Jack Good. He arranged a recording contract with Decca Records which resulted in the LP R&B from the Marquee. The album, released in late 1962, was actually recorded in the Decca studio rather than the club, and featured Baldry as lead singer and songs by Muddy Waters, Jimmy Witherspoon and Leroy Carr.

Also in 1962, Korner and Davies established a regular "Rhythm and Blues Night" at the Ealing Jazz Club. This brought together many more fans of blues and R&B music, including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Rod Stewart, Paul Jones, John Mayall, Zoot Money and Jimmy Page, some of whom would occasionally sit in on Blues Incorporated performances. Blues Incorporated was conceived as an informal "band"; its membership was intended to be fluid. Watts left the group around this time, and successfully suggested Ginger Baker as his replacement.

Early in 1963, Davies disagreed with Korner's intention to add a brass section to the band and turn more towards jazz than blues. Joined by Baldry, he left to form his own group, Cyril Davies' All Stars, and was replaced in Blues Incorporated by Graham Bond. Blues Incorporated found a new residency at the Flamingo club, but shortly afterwards Bond, Bruce and Baker also left to form a new organ-based group, the Graham Bond Organisation.

Blues Incorporated concentrated on their live work rather than making commercial recordings. The group only released two singles on Parlophone, "I Need Your Loving / Please Please Please" (1963) and "Little Baby" / "Roberta" (1964), followed by one on Fontana, "River's Invitation" / "Every Day I Have The Blues".

In 1964, they released the LPs At The Cavern and Red Hot From Alex, with American Herbie Goins as lead singer, and Danny Thompson, later of Pentangle, on bass. By the time of the group's last album Sky High, credited to Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated in 1965, the group included Duffy Power on vocals. Korner finally dissolved the group in 1966.


Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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