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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



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JIMMY BLYTHE

Messin' Around Blues

Delmark DE 792

 

 



 

1. Farm House Blues
2. Black Gal Make It Thunder
3. Mama's Got 'Em
4. The Folks Downstairs
5. That's My Business
6. Steppin' on the Gas
7. Function Blues
8. When Grandpa Steps Out
9. Forty Blues
10. Sugar Dew Blues
11. Carolina Stomp
12. Messin' Around
13. My Baby
14. Nicaragua Blues
15. A Good Man Is Hard to Find
16. Ain't Gonna Run You Down
17. Comin' Home Blues
18. I Won't Give You None
19. Underworld Blues
 
Jimmy Blythe - Piano
 
Despite his comparatively short life (he died around the age of 30), Jimmy Blythe was an influential figure in the Chicago of the 1920s. He played with such people as Johnny Dodds, Ma Rainey and Blind Blake, as well as recording with several bands of his own, with distinctive names like Blythe's Owls, Blythe's Sinful Five, the Washboard Ragamuffins and the Dixieland Thumpers. He is also creditced with being one of the pioneers of boogie-woogie piano, as you can hear in the first two tracks on this CD, which consists of piano rolls that Blythe made for use in nickelodeons (coin-operated pianos).
Despite the boogie-woogie style of the first two tracks, most items here use the left hand for a strong stride rhythm, while the right hand plays the themes and decorates them. Many of the tunes have a similar rhythm, so that a feeling of sameyness creeps in after hearing several tunes, but there is no doubting the authenticity and historical interest of these performances. Most numbers are imbued with the blues and have the vigour of ragtime, making for an intriguing mix of down-home styles.

Tony Augarde

 

 

 

 



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