New Orleans-bred guitarist/singer Lonnie Johnson is a seminal figure in American music. Johnson played both blues and jazz (brilliantly), and was one of the first recorded jazz guitarists in the 1920s. He recorded with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Eddie Lang and Helen Humes, and his songs have been recorded by Big Joe Turner and Elvis Presley. This previously unreleased session, recorded in 1965 at the house of a friend/fan in Queens, New York, captures the master musician in a most intimate and relaxed setting. Johnson sings a mellow yet spirited voice (imagine B.B. King as a "crooner, " or a subdued Jimmy Rushing) and his guitar playing (though not as innovative as his '20s/'30s work) glistens, combining Delta blues dexterity with urban savoir faire. The tunes are a refreshing, unanticipated mix of originals ("New Orleans Blues"), blues gems (Bessie Smith's "Back Water Blues, " "Jelly Jelly") and Sinatra (Ol' Blue Eyes' "This Love Of Mine," "September Song"). The recording quality is "primitive" (by digital-age standards) but crisp and clear throughout. This set is not recommended for the casual blues fan, or even hard-core contemporary blues (i.e., slick, electric, R&B-charged, etc.) fans - but for the eclectic, fans of pre-WWII blues, guitar-heads and Great American Songbook fans: save your nickels & dimes and get it!