Out of the Roaring 20's

Meade "Lux" Lewis

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Out of the Roaring 20's Review

by Ken Dryden

Boogie-woogie had widespread appeal to the American public in the 1930s and for a time in the 1940s, but by the time Meade "Lux" Lewis made this LP for ABC-Paramount in 1956, it had been pretty much reduced to mostly cliché-ridden recordings with performers frequently stuck playing awful, tinny-sounding upright honky tonk pianos. In any case, Lewis, one of the pioneers of the genre, was a trooper to the very end, so whether he's playing a real piano or a commercial clinker, he gives it his all, often with an unidentified bassist and drummer joining him. His quote-filled arrangement of the oldie "Ain't She Sweet" is inventive and amusing, though the inferior instrument he's stuck with makes listening to "'Deed I Do" an endurance test. He does a credible job adapting Earl Hines' "My Monday Date" to boogie-woogie, and adds several enjoyable originals as well. Overall, this LP is a bit uneven, especially when compared to his far better Riverside album The Blues Piano Artistry of Meade Lux Lewis. Long out of print, this record will be extremely hard to find for even the most devoted fan of boogie-woogie.

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