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Fivin' Around

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Album Review

Pianist Henry Butler's recording debut as a leader was also the first record released by the "new" Impulse label. Cut in the mid-'80s when MCA was directly involved with Impulse, the program features Butler with some rather notable musicians — bassist Charlie Haden, drummer Billy Higgins, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and tenorman Azar Lawrence plus occasional color provided by flutist Steve Kujala and the oboe of Jeff Clayton. Two selections (including "Giant Steps") add a string quartet, and Butler sings "I Want Jesus to Walk With Me." The wide-ranging repertoire (which also has seven diverse originals and the standard "Old Folks") and the inventive frameworks make this a memorable and very successful set.


Born: September 21, 1949 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Henry Butler's blues-based, New Orleans funk-style piano playing is not for every blues fan, to be sure. Butler is a local legend in New Orleans, but rarely tours other parts of the country; most any time of the year he can be found playing in one of New Orleans' famous night spots. It's not an exaggeration to say Butler is a piano genius who has yet to be discovered by the masses. His recordings demonstrate that he can do it all: he writes his own songs, does his own arrangements of classic tunes...
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Fivin' Around, Henry Butler
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