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Various Artists Collections - Post War Piano Blues & Boogie

VARIOUS ARTISTS Arhoolie CD 108 American Masters, Vol. 8 - 15 Piano Blues & Boogie Clas ● CD $7.98
15 winners from the Arhoolie catalog - Big Joe Duskin, Whistling Alex Moore, Katie Webster, Robert Shaw, L.C. "Good Rockin" Robinson (with Pinetop Perkins), Pete Johnson, Piano Red, Charlie Musselwhite (with Lafayette Leake) and others.
CLIFTON CHENIER: Why Did You Go Last Night (Elmore Nixon on piano)/ BIG JOE DUSKIN: Dollar Bill Boogie/ HENRY GREY: Cold Chills/ PETE JOHNSON: Rocket Boogie 88 (Part 1)/ LAFAYETE LEAKE & CHARLIE MUSSEWHITE: On The Spot Boogie/ MERCY DEE: Have You Ever Been Out In The Country/ WHISTLING ALEX MOORE: Whistling Alex Moore's Blues/ PIANO RED: You Ain't Got A Chance/ L.C. "GOOD ROCKIN'" ROBINSON: Pinetop's Boogie Woogie (Pinetop Perkins on piano)/ OMAR SHARRIFF: San Francisco Can Be Such A Lonely Town/ ROBERT SHAW: The Ma Grinder/ THUNDER SMITH: Cruel Hearted Woman/ OTIS SPANN & JOHNNY YOUNG: Moaning & Groaning/ BUKKA WHITE: Sugar Hill

VARIOUS ARTISTS Atlantic 81694 Atlantic Blues: Piano ● CD $10.98
This album features 29 fine examples of piano blues - mostly from the 40s and 50s but with a few from the 70s. Three of the legendary veterans of piano blues Jimmy Yancey, Little Brother Montgomery and Meade Lux Lewis are each represented by three or four tracks from 1951. There are three superb tracks by Champion Jack Dupree from his brilliant (and out of print) Blues From the Gutter album and two by Professor Longhair from his New Orleans Piano set. There are three fine instrumental cuts by Ray Charles including a delightful solo piece Low Society from a previously unissued rehearsal session. There are two low key jazzy blues from Vann `Piano Man' Walls, a fine and important New York piano player who is under-represented on reissues. Other artists featured include Joe Turner (with Pete Johnson/ piano), Jay McShann (one vocal and one instrumental from 1977), Floyd Dixon, Texas Johnny Brown (a previously unissued 1949 track with lovely relaxed piano by Amos Milburn), Dr John (a track from his classic Gumbo album) and Willie Mabon (an undistinguished previously unissued recording from 1976).(FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Delmark 739 Biddle Street Barrelhousin' ● CD $14.98
19 tracks recorded in the late 50s and early 60s of some the great blues pianists who made St. Louis their home and had performed on in clubs on the legendary Biddle Street. Some of this was previously issued on Euphonic LPs and some is previously unissued. Performers include Speckled Red, Henry Brown, James Crutchfield, James "Stump" Johnson and Lawrence Henry. The performances are all good though the bad sounding piano and rough recording quality detracts from enjoyment of the music.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Blind Pig 74591 Blue Ivory ● CD $16.98
An excellent collection of piano blues drawn from various albums (mostly out of print) issued in the 70s and 80s. It features three veteran performers - Henry Gray, Roosevelt Sykes and Boogie Woogie and younger interpreter Mr. B. All are fine form - Gray has a powerful and hoarse voice and is a wonderful rolling piano player (his finger work has enhanced to recordings of Howling Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Bo Diddley & others). The four Sykes sides were recorded live and are fine and energetic and Boogie Woogie Red is featured on 3 fine instrumental tracks. In addition to his own enjoyable sides, Mr B. provides accompaniments to vocalists J.C. Heard and Jeanen Carol. A most worthwhile set. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Delmark 626 Blues Piano Orgy ● CD $14.98
19 tracks, 61 min., highly recommended This welcomed update to the 1972 Delmark album contains 7 extra tracks by Roosevelt Sykes (1), Sunnyland Slim (2), Memphis Slim (2) and Curtis Jones (2), all unissued except for the United recording of Five O'Clock Blues (Memphis Slim,'52). Highlights include Three-In-One Blues (Otis Spann,'69), Blues Hurt My Tongue To Talk (Speckled Red,'56), (New Year's) Resolution Blues (Roosevelt Sykes, with vocals by St. Louis Jimmy,'63) and all 4 of the 1947 Little Brother Montgomery sides, originally meant to be issued on Disc Records. (EL)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Jasmine 2581 Can't Stop Playing That Boogie Woogie ● CD $11.98
24 tracks, recommended Fine set of piano boogie which mixes the familiar with the unfamiliar. The usual suspects are here Albert Ammons, Jimmy Yancey, Meade Lux Lewis and Pete Johnson alongside lesser known performers like Maurice Rocco (a fine side from the soundtrack of the 1945 movie Incendiary Blonde), Forrest Sykes, "Mr Freddy" Shayne, Hazel Scott and others. There's also a fine boogie from noted jazz pianist Oscar Peterson. Most intriguing are two sides from 1945 featuring 19 year old British pianist Billy Penrose with two excellent original compositions. There are also two recent recordings from 1999 by British pianist Chas "Mr Boogie Woogie" Hall who compiled this set. (FS)

 VARIOUS ARTISTS Specialty 7019 Specialty Legends Of Boogie-Woogie ● CD $14.98
Of the legends here, Roy Milton's pianist Camille Howard has the most tracks at 8, including X-Temporaneous Boogie/ Ferocious Boogie/ Miraculous Boogie. And that ain't bad since Roy himself gets just the previously unreleased Boogie Woogie Barber Shop and Milton's Boogie. As one might expect the majority (2/3rds) are instrumentals, with vocal selections spaced to avoid any potential monotony. Among the finest numbers are the Nelson Alexander Trio's Rock That Voot, which is a lot of fun, and the previously unreleased Doin' The Boogie Woogie. Other great moments are provided by Smiling Smokey Lynn, Williard McDaniel (2 issued, 2 un), Joe Liggins, Jo Jo Jackson, and Joe Lutcher. Everything is from 1947-51. Recommended. (JC)
THE NELSON ALEXANDER TRIO: Doin' The Boogie Woogie/ Rock That Voot/ CAMILLE HOWARD: Bangin' The Boogie/ Barcarolle Boogie/ Ferocious Boogie/ Fire-ball Boogie/ Instantaneous Boogie/ Million Dollar Boogie/ Miraculous Boogie/ X-temporaneous Boogie/ JO JO JACKSON: Boogie In The Groove/ JOE LIGGINS: Boogie-woogie Lou/ JOE LUTCHER & HIS SOCIETY CATS: Rockin' Boogie/ Society Boogie/ SMILIN' SMOKEY LYNN: State Street Boogie/ WILLARD MCDANIEL: 3 a M Boogie/ Ciri-biri-bin Boogie/ Unidentified Boogie No 1/ WILLIAM MCDANIEL: Unidentified Instrumental No 1/ ROY MILTON: Boogie Woogie Barber Shop/ Milton's Boogie

VARIOUS ARTISTS The Sirens 5002 Heavy Timbre ● CD $15.98
A 70s blues label re-emerges with three new CDs including this reissue of a 1976 album featuring five of Chicago's top blues and boogie piano players - Sunnyland Slim, Willie Mabon, Jimmy Walker, Blind John Davis and Erwin Helfer. All are in good form on their selections. The CD includes five bonus tracks from the same sessions though these are, for the most part, not as good as the issued tracks.

VARIOUS ARTISTS The Sirens 5003 8 Hands On 88 Keys - Chicago Blues Piano Masters ● CD $15.98
14 tracks , 48 min, highly recommended
Four piano masters recorded 11/13/01 - Barrelhouse Chuck, Detroit Jr., Erwin Helfer & the legendary 88 year old Pinetop Perkins are heard, as the cover says, in solos & duets. However, that's the only fault I find here - with that title & the promise of "duets", there's only 1 pianist at a time! The duets consists of one of the pianists playing while another sings! The playing is outstanding, but the vocals, 2 by Chuck & 1 each from Jr & Perkins make me wish the other guy was playing instead of singing! Still, incredible pianistics all around! Includes Pinetop's Blues/ Grinder Man Blues/ Staggerlee/ I Almost Lost My Mind. (GM)


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