Memphis Slim

At the Gate of Horn

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Only this disc's short length (34 minutes) qualifies as something worthy of complaint; otherwise, this is seminal blues piano, performed by a great player and singer, Memphis Slim. This 1959 session had everything: super piano solos, a strong lineup of horn players, clever, well-written and sung lyrics, and a seamless pace that kept things moving briskly from beginning to end. Other than Slim, instrumental honors go to guitarist Matt Murphy, a marvelous accompanist who was able to blend sophistication, technique, and earthiness into one dynamic package. Even at its bargain-basement length, At the Gate of Horn belongs in any blues fan's library.

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