Jimmie Rivers

Good Musicians Borrow, Great Musicians Steal!

“On a Slow Boat to China”

Here’s a great tune that I took from Brisbane Bop. If you listen to Barney Kessel’s “Kessel Plays Standards” you will hear that Jimmie Rivers obviously took the arrangement right from this record.

BK Tele

Download lead sheet “On a Slow Boat to China

Listen to Barney Kessel’s version

Here are a few other versions that I checked out while learning this tune

Jimmie Rivers’ solo on “Back Bay Shuffle”

Download Jimmie Rivers’ solo on “Back Bay Shuffle

Someone recently asked me the question, “Who is the most underrated guitarist in the history of guitar?” I can easily answer that…Jimmie Rivers! The album Brisbane Bop from Jimmie Rivers and the Cherokees featuring steel guitar ace Vance Terry is a must have for any serious jazz or western swing fan. The whole record from start to finish is amazing. Luckily for us someone was smart enough to record the band during their four year stint at the 23 Club. Jimmie’s solos are blazing and inventive and even though his recorded output is limited to a few records it was enough to solidify him as one of the greatest guitarists ever!

Jimmie R


Learning to play along with this solo was challenging but so much fun. Some of my favorite parts of the solo is the yelling and screaming from the audience. The raw energy and joy felt in those screams and yells puts you right in the space as if you you right there at the 23 Club digging the band.

Here is where it all happend.
23 Club, Brisbane, CA
23 club

For more info on Jimmie Rivers and the Cherokees click here

Jimmie Rivers and the Cherokees w/ Vance Terry!

Recently I have been on a major Western Swing kick and have been loving discovering a ton of new music. There is always so much to learn and you never know what new discoveries are waiting just around the corner.

“Back Bay Shuffle” is an old Artie Shaw tune that is the opening track from the amazing record “Brisbane Bop” from Jimmie Rivers and the Cherokees featuring Vance Terry.

Jimmie R

Jimmie and Vance Terry and the whole band are completely burning on this. Western Swing and Jazz are so connected but I feel like this often gets lost on many hardcore jazzers. The band on this record has a deep sense of swing, a highly sophisticated sense of melodic improvisation, and a super tight and highly arranged group dynamic.

Check out the original from the Artie Shaw band

Download the Lead Sheet for “Back Bay Shuffle

* Please note that the lead sheet is a basic version of this tune, it doesn’t feature the harmonizations played on the record.

Thanks goes out to Lee Jeffries and Raphael McGregor for hipping me to a ton of great music!