Various Artists

Atlantic Blues: Piano

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Sampling treats from such blues hotbeds as Chicago, Kansas City, and New Orleans, this single disc from Atlantic's blues box spotlights the men at the ivories with 23 good-to-excellent sides. Giving due respect to the boogie-woogie heyday of the '30s and '40s, the collection includes four 1972 sides by Jimmy Yancey (cut just prior to his death) and three early-'50s numbers by Meade "Lux" Lewis. Another fine tinkler, Champion Jack Dupree, reveals the rougher side of the boogie craze with some fine, latter-day barrelhouse gems off of his universally lauded Blues From the Gutter album. And not to forget Kansas City and the Crescent City, the disc also includes a true classic by Big Joe Turner and Pete Johnson ("Roll 'Em Pete"), a few solid sides by big band veteran and onetime Charlie Parker employer Jay McShann, and a genre-defining bayou classic compliments of Professor Longhair ("Tipitina"). With an intriguing 1953 demo by Ray Charles and an early-'70s funk rambler from Dr. John ("Junco Partner") to top things off, Atlantic Blues: Piano makes for a quality session by the stereo.

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