Albert Ammons was a superb stride and swing pianist as well as a master of the blues and an archetypal boogie-woogie ace. Living Era's Albert Ammons tribute album presents a precise chronological survey spanning a little more than ten years, from February 13, 1936, to July 2, 1946. This robust compilation contains some of his very best recordings -- as a soloist; as a collaborator in league with Pete Johnson and Meade "Lux" Lewis; as temporal and tonal ballast alongside Big Sid Catlett among the Port of Harlem Jazzmen; in a quartet with trumpeter Harry James; in cahoots with vocalists Joe Turner and Sippie Wallace; and leading two different editions of his Rhythm Kings band, one of which had a front line of trumpeter Hot Lips Page, trombonist Vic Dickenson, and tenor saxophonist Don Byas. This is superb, supremely down-to-earth good-time music, most of it performed with a rhythmic intensity that is ideal for hiking, carousing, chopping root vegetables, or splitting cordwood.
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