Jay McShann

Hootie's Blues: A Tribute

  • AllMusic Rating
    7
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Few players have so effectively bridged blues and jazz in their careers as pianist Jay McShann, and as this 27-track survey of the first dozen years or so of his remarkable 70-year recording career (McShann died in December of 2006 at the age of 90) makes clear, he had that elegant balance between blues and jazz down from the start. Drawn from 78 rpm singles released between 1941 and 1955 by imprints as varied as Vee Jay, Mercury, SwingTime, Downbeat, Supreme, Decca, and Capitol, this set provides an early blueprint to McShann's Kansas City-style, and it includes his signature tune "Confessin' the Blues" (with a perfect and steady vocal from Walter Brown), the classic "Hootie Blues" (featuring the alto sax of Charlie Parker), the vigorous piano instrumental "Hold 'Em Hootie," all of which date from 1941, and the sleek and propulsive, near rock & roll rendition of "Hands Off" from 1955, complete with an assured vocal from Priscilla Bowman. Seldom have the emotional timelessness of the blues and the restless, wayfaring nature of jazz been welded so effectively together, and in McShann's grasp it's all transformed into a kind of joyful exuberance. A remarkably consistent performer throughout his long career, McShann got it right from the start, and the proof of that is here.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:47
2 3:01
3 3:01
4 2:38
5 2:58
6 2:42
7
feat: Walter Brown
2:55
8 2:38
9
feat: Walter Brown
2:45
10 3:03
11 3:10
12 3:06
13 3:15
14 3:15
15
feat: Julia Lee
2:53
16 2:59
17 2:40
18
2:35
19 2:58
20
2:30
21 2:45
22 2:33
23 2:39
24 2:27
25 2:53
26 2:48
27 2:50
blue highlight denotes track pick