Pete Johnson - pianist, composer, recording artist (1904-1967)
The history of jazz and blues piano is an interesting one, and it benefits from being told separately from the history of jazz in general. The best performers didn’t always fit into the prevailing styles of the time. Boogie-Woogie piano developed largely in the Midwest, particularly Chicago, with the result that its practitioners were sometimes referred to as “western” pianists in order to distinguish them from the New York piano professors. Some players in this style developed in St. Louis or Detroit, but this blues-based variation was centered in Chicago, for it was there that the great Jimmy Yancey developed this approach and influenced many other pianists.
Pete Johnson began his musical career in 1922 as a drummer in Kansas City, Missouri