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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Booker on fire, 3 Dec 2006
By 
S J Buck (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Spiders On The Keys: Live At The Maple Leaf Bar (Audio CD)
This is a solo club recording of the great New Orleans Pianist James Booker. A word of warning, the recordings were originally never planned for release so the Piano sound (and the sound overall) isn't great. The reason for its release though is clear. Booker was erratic and in the studio might or might not be on form that day. Here with the benefit of hours and hours of tapes they have able to put out two volumes of superb solo Piano with Booker unleashed to do his own thing for as long as he liked!

Highlight on this disc for me is the brilliant version of "On the Sunny Side of Street". Booker wasn't really a Jazz Pianist but listen to this performance and you might want to question that statement. This is a better version (except for the sound quality) than on the excellent studio album album Junco partner (Hannibal HNCD 1359). Checkout the great solo, he may not be Jazz Pianist, but he has all the attributes of a Jazz Pianist.

Elsewhere there are stunning versions of some of Bookers own tunes and great covers of many well known tunes like 'Eleanor Rigby', Tico Tico and 'Over the Rainbow'.

You should have this essential New Orleans Piano recording in your collection together with its sister volume 'Ressurection of the Bayou Maharajah'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genius at work, 11 Aug 2009
By 
R. A. Johnson "raoul_malaria" (Britain.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Spiders On The Keys: Live At The Maple Leaf Bar (Audio CD)
Relaxed, live and free to do whatever he damn well pleased, these recordings show James Carrol Booker III in his natural environment. Just him, a piano, some awestruck clubgoers and whatever it was going on inside his head. A pianist whose repertoire ranged from Chopin to the Beatles to barrelhouse, Booker was generally regarded as one of the finest players to come out of New Orleans, meaning he was at the top of a large and remarkable pyramid of talent. The quality isn't pristine, but it's compensated for by the pleasure of being able to hear Booker dong his extraordinary thing. If you like New Orleans piano - and frankly, you ought to - this is a pleasure. The previous reviewer is quite correct too in recommending 'Bayou Maharajah' as a handy companion piece. Go on - there's room in your life for a little astonishment.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of his best recordings, 24 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Spiders On The Keys: Live At The Maple Leaf Bar (Audio CD)
This CD is unusual as it is purely instrumental, no vocals. And I tink all the better for that. His playing is brilliant !
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Spiders On The Keys: Live At The Maple Leaf Bar
Spiders On The Keys: Live At The Maple Leaf Bar by James Booker (Audio CD - 1995)
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