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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



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PIANO BLUES

A Film by Clint Eastwood

Columbia/Legacy 512571 2

 

       

        1. Jimmy Yancey – How Long Blues
        2. The Boogie Woogie Boys – Boogie Woogie Prayer Part 1
        3. Count Basie & His band – How Long blues
        4. Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers – Driftin’ Blues
        5. Fats Domino – The Fat Man
        6. Art Tatum - Tatum Pole Boogie
        7. Professor Longhair – Tipitina
        8. Ray Charles – What’d I Say, Parts 1& 2
        9. Otis Splann – Good Morning Mr Blues
        10. Duke Ellington, Chas. Mingus & Max Roach – Backward Country Boy Blues
        11. Thelonious Monk – Blue Monk
        12. Big Joe Turner & Jay McShann – Piney Brown Blues
        13. Jay McShann & Dave Brubeck – Mission Ranch Blues
        14. Joe Turner – The Ladder
        15. Dr John – Honey Dripper
        16. Henry Townsend – World Full of People
        17. Dr John – Big Chief
        18. Joe Willie "Pinetop" Perkins & Marcia Ball – Carmel Blues
        19. Dave Brubeck – Travellin’ Blues
        20. Dr John, Pete Jolly & Henry Gray – How Long Blues

       

      No one can deny that Clint Eastwood has been good to jazz, he has funded and produced many films based on our wonderful music that would have just not happened without him. This one is the latest and I hope to see it before long. Eastwood says that the concept is simple, the piano player walks on, plays his piece and then walks away. Eastwood is a more than competent piano player himself, so he would know about these things. I would support many of the ideas he expresses, you can’t play jazz if you can’t play the blues, because jazz is so bound into it’s blues roots. The blues also spawned Rock & Roll, which although it’s not my bag has touched a lot of people.

      The records here cover a wide variety of musicians and a wide variety of styles from Jimmy Yancey to Dave Brubeck, via The Duke, Ray Charles, Thelonious Monk, Joe Turner and many more. They all have different interpretations, but they all play the blues. Monk’s contribution with Oliver Nelson’s All Star Big Band is an interesting one, I would like to hear the whole of the session it came from! The next track has an excellent example of Big Joe Turner’s capability to sock out the blues with Jay McShann, another great blues man on piano and a guitar player who isn’t there according to the sleeve note! The Brubeck/McShann track comes off better than I would have expected; it was recorded in 2002, by which time McShann was a good age for a jazz person.

      I particularly liked the Dave Brubeck track, Travellin’ Blues, it was recorded in 2002 at a session organised by Eastwood and Bruce Ricker. If anyone needed convincing of Dave’s jazz pedigree, this track confirms it and for me it goes to show why he can handle the much more complex parts of his jazz repertoire so well.

      This is a good album because it reminds us where our favourite music came from.

      Don Mather



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