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Memphis Slim: The Essential Masters

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Album Review

An engaging pianist and singer, Memphis Slim recorded prolifically throughout his nearly fifty years as a professional musician, and the quality and consistency of the music he made during that career is an impressive achievement, particularly given the number of live recordings he did toward the end of it. This set may not actually contain all of the essentials (it lacks, for instance, Slim's signature song, "Nobody Loves Me," better known in its later incarnation as "Everyday I Have the Blues") but it builds well and is a whole lot of fun. Highlights include the lovely "Slim's Blues," a spunky and live-sounding "Tijuana," and a pair of crisply done solo piano turns, "Don't Want My Rooster Crowin'" and "Harlem Bound." A little too hit or miss to be considered a good introduction to Memphis Slim, this collection still has its charms.


Born: 03 September 1915 in Memphis, TN

Genre: Blues

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

An amazingly prolific artist who brought a brisk air of urban sophistication to his frequently stunning presentation, John "Peter" Chatman -- better known as Memphis Slim -- assuredly ranks with the greatest blues pianists of all time. He was smart enough to take Big Bill Broonzy's early advice about developing a style to call his own to heart, instead of imitating that of his idol, Roosevelt Sykes. Soon enough, other 88s pounders were copying Slim rather than the other way around; his thundering...
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Memphis Slim: The Essential Masters, Memphis Slim
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