CD Heavy Timbre: Chicago Boogie Piano (CD 1028654),
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Heavy Timbre: Chicago Boogie Piano
1. Davis Boogie - Blind John Davis
2. Little Everyday, A - Blind John Davis
3. I Almost Lost My Mind - Blind John Davis
4. She's Got a Thing Goin' On - Sunnyland Slim
5. Canadian Walk - Sunnyland Slim
6. Gotta See My Lawyer - Sunnyland Slim
7. I Don't Know - Willie Mabon
8. World of Trouble - Willie Mabon
9. Seventh Son, The - Willie Mabon
10. Four O'Clock Blues - Jimmy Walker
11. I Just Want to Hold On - Jimmy Walker
12. Fives, The - Erwin Helfer
13. Improvizations - Erwin Helfer
14. Big Joe - Erwin Helfer/Sunnyland Slim
15. Promote Sunnyland a Drink - Sunnyland Slim
16. Kansas City - Blind John Davis
17. Slow Blues - Willie Mabon
18. Johnny Sunny Blues - Sunnyland Slim/Blind John Davis
19. Mr. Freddie Blues - Jimmy Walker
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 5002
Steven B. Dolins; Stu Black; Bradley Parker-Sparrow; Adam Miller
Personnel: Sunnyland Slim (vocals, piano, organ); Jimmy Walker , Willie Mabon, Blind John Davis (vocals, piano); Erwin Helfer (piano).
Recording information: Sound studios (06/04/1976).
On one glorious day in June of 1976, five of Chicago's most prominent piano blues/boogie-woogie players got together for a session reminiscent of rent parties of the past, when this music was played loud and long enough to cause eviction, thereby avoiding the payment of overdue rent. Sirens Records made the original recording and has reissued it with five bonus tracks from the same session. On the bonus material, laughing, glass-clinking, and conversation are picked up. The outcome is more than a hour of blues/boogie-woogie played in the Chicago tradition. That city, as much as any, can claim to be the Mecca for this kind of music. Two of the style's more famous pacesetters, Albert Ammons and Meade "Lux" Lewis, were working as taxi drivers before being "discovered" by impresario John Hammond. Here Blind John Davis leads off with three cuts, vocalizing on two of them. Sunnyland Slim opens his tunes with a short announcement of what he's going to do and then does it. Willie Mabon's approach is somewhat lower in volume with less momentum that the two preceding artists, more in line with traditional blues. The next two artists, Jimmy Walker and Erwin Helfer, who recorded together during the 1960s and 1970s, are not as well known as their compatriots, at least outside of Chicago. But their performance confirms that they belong in this rarefied company. One of the class tracks is "Big Joe," where Sunnyland Slim plays organ on a duet with Helfer. Each of the players was a fine exponent of this style of music on their own. But when thrown together in something akin to a competitive setting, the playing reaches heavenly levels. This collection of a jazz piano form which unfortunately has lost some of its burnish over the years is highly recommended. ~ Dave Nathan
Living Blues (5-6/02, p.50) - "...Rollicking fun, soulful intimacy, celebration of life - it doesn't get any more real than this..."
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The Sirens Recordings 5002
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