Jimmy Yancey

The Unissued 1951 Yancey Wire Recordings

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Boogie-woogie pianist Jimmy Yancey and his wife, Mama Yancey, used to have musical gatherings at their Chicago home. The performances heard on this CD were recorded by a wire recorder three months before Yancey's death, and were released for the first time on this 1997 CD. The recording quality varies greatly, ranging from listenable to quite noisy, so this is not a release for general listeners. However, Jimmy Yancey collectors will definitely want it, because there are some unique moments heard along the way. First, an unknown pianist is featured on four numbers, playing very good boogie-woogie, accompanying Mama Yancey on "Make Me a Pallet on the Floor" and "Chicago in Mind." Jimmy Yancey, who was not feeling that well but still playing excellently, is featured on the next five numbers, although two of the three selections that also feature Mama Yancey and have Phil Kiely providing a third hand on the piano, playing the high notes, are a bit damaged. Walter Joplin (no relation) performs "Scott Joplin's New Rag." A jam session takes place with both of the Yanceys (they share the vocals on "Royal Garden Blues"), with clarinetist Buzz Reynolds and banjoist Dick Mushlitz featured on six mostly listenable numbers. In addition, Mushlitz switches to piano for a solo "Blues" recorded a day later, and there are repeats of three of the performances from a clearer but scratchier source. The joy of the music generally shines through on this historic release.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:10
2 3:48
3 3:49
4 2:04
5
4:54
6
feat: Mama Yancey
7:37
7 1:10
8 1:27
9 4:19
10 2:26
11 2:24
12
feat: Mama Yancey
3:54
13 5:21
14 5:05
15 4:13
16 5:07
17
2:37
18 3:51
19 5:21
20 5:03
blue highlight denotes track pick