Johnny "Big Moose" Walker

Blue Love

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Evidence's 1996 reissue of the 1984 Johnny "Big Moose" Walker album Blue Love is adorned with five bonus tracks, all added to the beginning of the album. Fortunately, this does not change the essential character of this sublime, low-key set, since all 11 tracks cut during this session consist of Walker alone at the piano, idiosyncratically playing a wide variety of originals, standards, and Ray Charles tunes. Although this all sounds of a piece -- that is, terrific late-night blues -- it's not same-y, since Walker keeps shifting his phrasing and playing, not just from song to song but within the songs themselves. As such, it sounds as if he's playing in the same room with you -- a wonderful, intimate feeling that makes this a latter-day gem from this fine pianist and singer.

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