Atlantic Blues: Piano
Atlantic Blues Piano
Atlantic · 1986 · 84,30 Mb
01. Yancey Special - Jimmy Yancey
02. Talkin' Boogie - Little Brother Montgomery
03. Mournful Blues - Jimmy Yancey
04. Salute To Pinetop - Jimmy Yancey
05. Shave 'Em Dry - Jimmy Yancey
06. Frankie And Johnny - Jack Dupree
07. T.B. Blues - Jack Dupree
08. Strollin' - Jack Dupree
09. Tipitina - Professor Longhair
10. Blue Sender - Van "Piano Man" Walls
11. After Midnight - Van "Piano Man" Walls
12. Roll 'Em Pete - Joe Turner
13. Fore Day Rider - Jay McShann
14. My Chile - Jay McShann
15. Cow Cow Blues - Meade Lux Lewis
16. Albert's Blues - Meade Lux Lewis
17. Honky Tonk Train Blues - Meade Lux Lewis
18. Low Society - Ray Charles
19. Hey Bartender - Floyd Dixon
20. Floyd's Blues - Floyd Dixon
21. After Hours Blues - Texas Johnny Brown
22. Junco Partner - Doctor John
23. I Don't Know - Willie Mabon
In his liner notes to this Atlantic Records piano blues anthology, "Living Blues" magazine editor Jim O'Neal writes that "The Atlantic team knew what they liked; they also knew what sold." It's instructive, then, that six songs from the original vinyl release -- two each by Little Brother Montgomery and Ray Charles, one each by Professor Longhair and Joe Turner, remain off the CD reissue 11 years later. Musical archeology only sells so far.
This carelessness of sequencing (two songs each from Jimmy Yancey and Meade Lux Lewis would have made their cases) is part of why "Atlantic Blues Piano" is weakest among the label's four volume blues series despite some exceptional performances. You get some of blues' finest pianists and samples of native city styles (Chicago, Kansas City, New Orleans. But the artists are caught either pre-ascension (Charles on a 1953 audition tape of Lowell Fulsom's "Low Society," Amos Milburn quarterbacking Texas Johnny Brown's jumpin' "After Hours Blues" with a superb intro) or post-peak (Yancey, heard without "Mama," heard here two months before his death with a somber "Mournful Blues" and salute to fellow piano great Pinetop Perkins).
O'Neil acknowledges this in his liner notes. "Most of the pianists represented on this volume were already well-established recording artists by the time they went into the studio for Atlantic," he wrote."...their Atlantic sessions were in one way or another intended to recapture or restore past glory."
That said, enough excellent music remains on this collection to earn partial recommendation. The New Orleans piano style is well-represented by Longhair's signature song "Tiptina," while Longhair disciple Dr. John rocks on a too-funky "Junco Partner" from 1971's "Gumbo." Turner (with ace Kansas City pianist Pete Johnson) provides some classic early R&B with 1956's "Roll 'Em Pete" while Lewis (helped by a young John Scofield on guitar) gallops through "Fore Day Rider" and the ballad "My Chile."
"Atlantic Blues: Piano" is worthwhile for completists, but unfulfilling for casual listeners. Blues or R&B piano fans would do better reading the artist lineup, then finding a full album from that performer.
Anthony G. Pizza/Amazon.com
Dr. John · Junco Partner