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The St. Louis Parties

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Album Review

The unusual music featured on this CD was recorded at a pair of private parties held in St. Louis in the summer of 1954. The great boogie-woogie pianist Pete Johnson is featured playing blues, swing tunes, and standards. Sometimes the guests are a bit noisy in spots, but at other times they were obviously paying close attention to his playing. Throughout these performances, Johnson shows that he was more than just a boogie-woogie specialist, digging into such songs as "Perdido," "12th Street Rag," "Stardust," and "Honeysuckle Rose," striding away. Two numbers find him joined by as many as three other pianists (all playing the same piano): he backs Bill Atkinson's singing on two cuts, Tom Harris sings "K.C. Blues," and on "Harris Propelled," Johnson plays drums behind Harris' piano playing. In addition he is on a very rare vocal on "How Long How Long." Because the recording quality is not impeccable and there is some crowd noise in spots, this is not an essential release, but fans of Pete Johnson and his style of piano playing will find these performances to be of great interest.


Born: 25 March 1904 in Kansas City, MO

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s

Pete Johnson was one of the three great boogie-woogie pianists (along with Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis) whose sudden prominence in the late '30s helped make the style very popular. Originally a drummer, Johnson switched to piano in 1922. He was part of the Kansas City scene in the 1920s and '30s, often accompanying singer Big Joe Turner. Producer John Hammond discovered him in 1936 and got him to play at the Famous Door in New York. After taking part in Hammond's 1938 Spirituals to Swing Carnegie...
Full bio
The St. Louis Parties, Pete Johnson
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Blues, Music, Jazz
  • Released: 12 October 1999

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