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The Boogie Woogie Trio Vol. 2

Albert Ammons & Meade "Lux" Lewis

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Album Review

Although The Boogie Woogie Trio is the title of this two-CD compilation, boogie-woogie pianists Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, and Meade "Lux" Lewis are featured as a trio on just 12 of the 45 tracks in this collection. Most of these trio performances come from two transcription sessions made for MacGregor in 1944, with two songs coming from 1939 airchecks originating at the Hotel Sherman in Chicago, with "Boogie Woogie Prayer" and their lively treatment of "St. Louis Blues" standing out as highlights. One error in the notes to this reissue is the omission of Johnson's rhythm section for his set from the 1947 Just Jazz concert in Pasadena, as guitarist Sonny Rogers, bassist Johnny Parker, and drummer Roy Milton are also on hand. Of course, a rhythm section was superfluous for a powerful boogie-woogie interpreter, so Johnson really didn't need any help. Especially noteworthy is Johnson's "Four O'Clock Blues." Likewise, drummer Smokey Stover's name is omitted from Lewis' various early-'50s airchecks from Club Hangover in San Francisco, though a second take of his "Six Wheel Chaser" is newly added. The instrument Lewis is stuck playing in this venue had obviously seen better days, but like many pianists of the day, he made the most of what he had to work with. The second CD focuses on vintage 1939 airchecks from the Hotel Sherman by each of the pianists individually, plus two trio selections. The sound quality is quite good, while all three artists are in top form, with Lewis stealing the show with his fine whistling in his appropriately titled "Whistling Blues." This two-CD set should be considered an essential acquisition for anyone interested in boogie-woogie.

Biography

Born: 23 September 1907 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s

A major inspiration to generations of improvising musicians, Albert Ammons is best remembered as an exciting pianist who inaugurated the Blue Note record label by hammering out blues and boogie duets with Meade "Lux" Lewis, and as the father of hard bop tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons. Born in Chicago on September 23, 1907, he learned the rudiments of piano from his parents and neighbors and began cultivating an ability to play the blues when he was 12 years old. His...
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The Boogie Woogie Trio Vol. 2, Albert Ammons
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