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The Complete Hightone Sessions

Pinetop Perkins

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Album Review

Pinetop Perkins' Heritage of the Blues: The Complete Hightone Sessions is a welcome if strange reissue. In a sense, none of the tracks here have been issued before — at least not in this form. These sessions took place over two years in the Octobers of 1996 and 1997 in Chicago. There are 15 tracks here, including Perkins classic originals such as "Down in Mississippi," "Take It Easy Baby," "Song for Sunnyland," "Big Fat Mama," "Little Girl, Little Girl," and others. Yes, "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie" is here, too. Unaccompanied, Perkins runs through these tunes in an intimate and utterly compelling manner, turning the middle eights into wondrously dexterous right-hand workouts, and his voice is still in fine shape here. What is so strange is that some of these tunes are recorded on an electric piano, making them sound tinny, reedy, and oddly more home-style than barrelhouse. Even so, Perkins' trademark slippery right hand is in fine supply here, as are his strange, open-ended, and extrapolated chords. It's a gentle workout, one that is as laid-back as it is articulate and soulful, but this is a different side of Perkins, one that balances out the profile of a giant and master. Despite the weird timbres, Heritage of the Blues is a fine and even essential Perkins recording to own.


Born: 07 July 1913 in Belzoni, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

He admittedly wasn't the originator of the seminal piano piece "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie," but it's a safe bet that more people associate it nowadays with Pinetop Perkins than with the man who devised it in the first place, Clarence "Pinetop" Smith. Although it seems as though he was around Chicago forever, the Mississippi native actually got a relatively late start on his path to Windy City immortality. It was only when...
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The Complete Hightone Sessions, Pinetop Perkins
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  • 11,99 €
  • Genres: Blues, Music
  • Released: 22 July 2003

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