Various Artists: Masters of the Boogie Piano (2003)
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
CD compilations of boogie woogie piano abound, particularly on cheap import CD labels, but this domestic bargain is a strikingly attractive sampler. Drawing from Delmark's half-century old blues catalog, it nicely showcases the big names like Roosevelt Sykes and Albert Ammons and resurrects obscurities like the salty Curtis Jones and Speckled Red. Best of all, Sir Charles Thompson and Ken Saydak offer rousing performances from this new century, thus destroying the myth that boogie woogie piano is a played-out style only fit for nostalgia buffs.
This disc serves nicely as a reminder of the role boogie woogie piano has played in jazz history. Think of its impact on Ellington and Monk and Jacki Byard. Too bad they aren't in the Delmark vaults. Someone should do a jazz piano anthology someday that juxtaposes them with their boogie woogie ancestors. In the meantime, this is a smart purchase for any piano blues fan who wants a broad overview of this rhythmically pounding, ever-energizing style.
Track Listing: 1. Wilkins Street Stomp, 2. Bear Cat Crawl, 3. a Boogie Woogie, 4. North Gulfport Blues, 5. 66
Stomp, 6. Clo Clo Boogie, 7. Hersal Blues, 8. Bye Bye Baby, 9. Bass Key Boogie, 10. Memories of
Albert Ammons, 11. Curtis Jones' Boogie Woogie, Boogie Woogie Blues
Personnel: Speckled Red, Meade Lux Lewis, Sir Charles Thompson, Roosevelt Sykes, Pete Johnson, Key
Saydak, Albert Ammons, Robert McCoy, Little Brother Montgomery, Steve Behr, Curtis Jones
Record Label: Delmark Records