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The Classic Years: Otis Spann

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Album Review

A Mike Vernon-produced British album from 1964 that was one of Spann's first full-length dates as a leader. Nice band, too: Muddy Waters on guitar, bassist Ransom Knowling, and drummer Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, along with a young Eric Clapton playing on a couple of cuts. Spann plays a harpsichord on a few items; needless to say, they aren't the album's shining moments!


Born: 21 March 1930 in Jackson, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '50s, '60s

An integral member of the nonpareil Muddy Waters band of the 1950s and '60s, pianist Otis Spann took his sweet time in launching a full-fledged solo career. But his own discography is a satisfying one nonetheless, offering ample proof as to why so many aficionados considered him then and now Chicago's leading post-war blues pianist. Spann played on most of Waters' classic Chess waxings between 1953 and 1969, his rippling 88s providing the drive on Waters' seminal 1960 live version of "Got My Mojo...
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The Classic Years: Otis Spann, Otis Spann
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