Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

467

Henry Butler: PiaNOLA Live

Mike Perciaccante By

Sign in to view read count
In a town famous for its piano virtuosos—Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, Eddie Bo, Professor Longhair, James Booker, and even Harry Connick, Jr. (all New Orleans natives)—Henry Butler is a giant. Though his eclectic mixture of funk, blues, jazz, pop, schmaltz, rock and standards isn't everyone's cup of tea, his musical genius is legendary. Musicians and fans both hail Butler as the next piano superstar.

Butler is a quintuple-threat, being an excellent writer, arranger, interpreter, player and multi-instrumentalist. Though he hasn't yet been discovered by the masses, his latest CD, PiaNOLA Live should serve as a step in that direction.

This is the first completely solo recording that Butler, blind since birth, has released. The fact that it was recorded live makes it even more special.

The disc features 11 tracks of pure delight, beginning with the classic "Basin Street Blues," on which Butler pays homage to those who came before him by playing it in a truly New Orleans-esque manner. Butler also lays down some fine R&B piano on the Toussaint-penned, Ernie K-Doe hit "Mother-In-Law," a slow, heartfelt version of Otis Redding's "Dock Of the Bay" and his own rollicking, joyful composition "New Orleans Inspiration"—Butler's signature tune and tour de force.

Other highlights include Butler's version of Governor Jimmie Davis' "You Are My Sunshine," re-interpreted here as a blues and "North American Idiosyncrasies," composed by Alvin Batiste (who taught Butler at the Louisiana State School for the Blind). "Let 'Em Roll," which Butler previously recorded with Corey Harris on the guitarist's Vu-Du Menz (Alligator Records, 2000), features a stunning, thumping and powerful barrelhouse piano, followed by a slow-build to a frenzied version of Professor Longhair's "Tipitina."

The sounds that Butler coaxes, cajoles, pounds and brings forth from his instrument fill the entire room. It is both amazing and deeply satisfying to know that PiaNOLA Live was made by only one man and his piano.


Track Listing: Basin St. Blues; Orleans Inspiration; Mother-In-Law; Dock Of The Bay; Let 'Em Roll; Somethin' You Got; You Are My Sunshine; Tipitina; Will It Go Round in Circles; Old Man River; North American Idiosyncrasies.

Personnel: Henry Butler: piano, vocals.

Title: Pianola Live | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Basin Street Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 21 CD/LP/Track Review Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 21
by Don Phipps
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Lavaman CD/LP/Track Review Lavaman
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Bad Hombre CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Aladdin's Dream CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "In Times Like These" CD/LP/Track Review In Times Like These
by James Nadal
Published: May 13, 2017
Read "Luck Child" CD/LP/Track Review Luck Child
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 16, 2017
Read "A Woman's Work..." CD/LP/Track Review A Woman's Work...
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 30, 2017
Read "g a b b r o" CD/LP/Track Review g a b b r o
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 5, 2017
Read "WashAshore" CD/LP/Track Review WashAshore
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 30, 2017
Read "Legacy: Neil Slater at North Texas" CD/LP/Track Review Legacy: Neil Slater at North Texas
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 30, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!