Jazz: The Blues Is How It Is

Swaying to the drums' rocking beat, a lithe young Negro named Junior Wells closes his eyes and pierces the nightclub's smoke and din with his rough-edged, throbbing baritone:

You say it hurts you, you 'bout to lose your mind,

Lord, I can't stand to see my baby go,

When things go wrong, so wrong with you, it hurts me too.

He cups his harmonica against the microphone and sends a wild, keening cluster of notes soaring over the surging rhythms like gulls over an angry sea. Crammed around tables in front of the bandstand, the...

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