This is a live club recording of the great James Booker.
The first thing to say about this is that the sound quality is varied and its not a top notch Piano either. These recordings weren't supposed to come out at all.
Booker is erratic, and evidence of this can be found in "All By Myself" which they have had to edit because he probably stopped mid song, being distracted by something or someone. That said "All By Myself" is my favourite track, its a barnstorming performance capturing everything thats great about James Booker.
If you have any interest in New Orleans Piano players, this CD and its sister (Spiders...) are essential purchases. This is what Booker was like when he was just left to play on his own without the constraints of a Band. Nearly all of it is worth having, and quite a lot of it is utterly brilliant.
on 14 September 2006
I listen to a lot of piano players and dare to say james booker is one of the most talented piano players of the 20th century ever
This CD rules, especially because it's live, not recorder in a studio.
I get goosepimps when he switches from playing this new orleans james booker style to a minute waltz of chopin rearranged by him and totally improvised.
it's a must have
I'm off buying his other famous album now, spider on the keys :-)
on 17 November 2015
I did n't really ought to give this 5 stars in the sense that the choice of numbers is idiosyncratic to say the least and the quality of his playing is very variable. However I am giving it 5 stars because hey, its Booker. he left so few studio recordings and indeed so few recordings in total that anything he recorded is worth at least one play, and a lot of it is genius. Did he ever do a song the same way twice ? No ,I think he knew the tune and just went out and played and inprovised it in a style that fitted the mood he was in. Most pianists would be grateful to play as well one version of his interpretations, he could play a hundred plus versions depending on his mood but I suspect he would not have remembered even his best versions a week later.