Various Artists

Keep It Rollin': The Blues Piano Collection

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Probably the most amazing thing about this record is how fresh the music sounds. In a genre that at best has been recycling its sounds for over 50 years, it's exciting to hear that indeed, there is a lot of blues piano music being made that is vibrant, individual, and yes, living. While this album has its share of "dum da dum da dum" repetition, what is simply stunning are the tracks that expose a rainbow of individualistic expression -- no small accomplishment on an instrument and a genre most would consider fairly rigid. Of special note are the mean ramblings of James Booker, the furious virtuosity of Davell Crawford, and the near brilliant, jazzy explorations of Willie Tee. Also revelatory are the tracks by Charles Brown, a musician who refuses to be filed in some musical museum. This stuff is good, real good. One can only wonder why these men aren't bigger stars than they are. If you want to know what's been happening in blues piano for the last 20 years, this is where you start.

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