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Roosevelt Sykes Vol. 7 (1941-1944)

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Album Review

Roosevelt Sykes, one of the best prewar blues pianists, is heard on this chronological Document compilation from a nearly four-year period of his career. With support from drummer Big Sid Catlett, bassist Alfred Elkins, and guitarist Ted Summit, Sykes enthuses over a host of his original songs, along with a sprightly version of Fats Waller's "Honeysuckle Rose." Fans of piano blues will love this edition in Document's lengthy series of reissues, though beginners are advised to head first for the Roosevelt Sykes (1929-1941) compilation on Story of the Blues.


Born: 31 January 1906 in Elmar, AR

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Next time someone voices the goofball opinion that blues is simply too depressing to embrace, sit 'em down and expose 'em to a heady dose of Roosevelt Sykes. If he doesn't change their minds, nothing will. There was absolutely nothing downbeat about this roly-poly, effervescent pianist (nicknamed "Honeydripper" for his youthful prowess around the girls), whose lengthy career spanned the pre-war and postwar eras with no interruption whatsoever. Sykes' romping boogies and hilariously risqué lyrics...
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