The legendary Screamin' Jay Hawkins was one of pop's most colourful characters; a one-man circus sideshow with some of the most memorable routines - and props - the music world had ever witnessed. Yet the author of the R&B standard 'I Put A Spell On You' was also an accomplished and serious musician, as his many vintage recordings demonstrate. While Hawkins recorded prolifically during the 1950s and 1969s, he only released three long-players during that same period.
The second of these, "The Night And Day Of Screaming Jay Hawkins" is not only the rarest, but was for many years considered the strangest. Recorded in London in 1965 with UK session men and issued the following year on Shel Talmy's Planet label, the record's fascinating blend of louche lounge balladry, frantic R&B workouts and cool club groove is now regarded as a quintessential mod-jazz artefact.
Ace's "The Planet Sessions" sees the first official reissue for this overlooked gem, and the original album's running time is doubled with unissued stereo variants, alternate takes and a pair of exciting outtakes, all drawn from the original Abbey Road session tapes. Detailed notes spell out Hawkins' various UK sojourns during the mid-1960s. All in all, "The Planet Sessions" is not only a reappraisal, but a reaffirmation of the bizarre genius of Screamin' Jay Hawkins