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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For Stu, one of the very best of the Good Guys, 20 April 2011
By 
Lost John (Devon, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Boogie 4 Stu - A Tribute To Ian Stewart (Audio CD)
Although it is great to have another track - a cover of Bob Dylan's Watching the River Flow - from the 1975-1992 Rolling Stones (i.e. the present line-up, but with Bill Wyman on bass), that is not what this record is primarily about. Until 1985 and his untimely death from a heart attack, Ian Stewart was Road Manager and keyboard player for the Rolling Stones, but he found time when not touring with the Stones to play Boogie-Woogie piano, appearing in clubs with long-standing friends such as Alexis Corner and Charlie Watts. In the late seventies, Stu founded the Boogie Woogie band Rocket '88, with Charlie, Alexis and himself as core members and numerous other musicians joining-in when and as they could, and it is in Rocket 88 that this tribute album has its roots. Ben Waters, the power behind this album, played with Rocket 88, and credits Stu with having willingly and generously taught him much of his own piano style.

The mainstays of this album are Ben Waters (ten tracks), sax player Willy Garnet (six tracks) and, once again, Charlie Watts (also on six tracks). In the Rocket 88 tradition, many others contribute on at least one track, several of those others being names as well known as Jools Holland, P J Harvey and the individual Rolling Stones. Jools Holland plays piano on four tracks, Hammond organ on two more, and on Make me a Pallet on your Floor puts in a great blues vocal after the style of the Georgia bluesman Blind Willie McTell. P J Harvey, a cousin of Waters, has Lonely Avenue almost to herself, multi-tracking her voice and playing sax, which she says she learnt from Willy Garnet and others in the days when Rocket 88, including Stu, would sometimes stay in her family home. Other slightly less obvious contributions of real value are Keith Richards' guitar on Rooming House Boogie, Ron Wood's on Worried Life Blues, Mick Jagger's harmonica on the long play-out of Watching the River Flow, and Jools Holland's Hammond organ on both of those last two tracks. Perhaps Jools always wanted to play with the Rolling Stones. Then of course there are the sax and other horn players - ranking equally with the piano in Boogie-Woogie - and the incomparable Charlie Watts. The sleeve notes tell us that Keith Richards said he has known only two people of whom he never heard a bad word - Stu and Charlie.

Finally, on the last track, Bring it on Home to Me, Stu himself, playing with Rocket 88 at the 1984 Montreux Jazz Festival. It's a brave thing to tackle a tune closely associated with the Animals in their prime (that must also be said of track 3, Worried Life Blues), but Stu and fellow musicians pulled it off, and triumphantly round-off this very worthwhile album, on which there isn't one bad or uninteresting track.

It's nice too that the artists, engineer Glyn Johns, and cover artist Sir Peter Blake (who included a doll wearing a sweater bearing the words "The WMCA Good Guys Welcome The Rolling Stones" on his Beatles Sergeant Pepper cover)* all donated their services, and that Ben Waters will be giving his profit from the album to the British Heart Foundation.

*This has been EDITED, 4 June 2011. See Comment 1; grateful thanks to ttrocc7007 for the additional information.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jazz + Stones = Brilliance, 18 April 2011
This review is from: Boogie 4 Stu - A Tribute To Ian Stewart (Audio CD)
This incredible album not only reminds us of an often overlooked Ian Stewart but also cements Ben Waters as possibly the best emerging British music talent. Ben's Piano playing is exceptional, reminiscent of Ian Stewart himself. A few contibutions from Jools Holland also make this album essential listening.

Without a doubt, however, the contributions from Mick and the boys is something special, it is nice to hear Bill's bass and Keith's guitar on the same track!! Long overdue if you ask me. Charlie shows his versatility and skill driving this album forward with his subtle yet emphatic drumming; its no exaggeration to say that he is the best British drummer ever!!!

For Stone's fans awaiting a tour, don't worry Mick can still warble one hell of a tune!

This album is a must!!! plus proceeds to the British Heart Foundation.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for every Stones fan, 3 May 2011
By 
A. J. Wallis "Adrian" (Leicestershire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Boogie 4 Stu - A Tribute To Ian Stewart (Audio CD)
This is an essential puchase for any Stones fan. It is a great tribute to Stu, the 6th, forgotten stone.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very good, 7 Jun 2011
By 
Graham R. Hill (Ilkley) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Boogie 4 Stu - A Tribute To Ian Stewart (Audio CD)
Nine varied, but consistently excellent tracks led by fine boogie woogie piano playing, one very different and typically idiosyncratic track featuring PJ Harvey plus the Rolling Stones performing Dylan with Jagger in particularly fine vocal form. All that plus a contribution to charity; what are you waiting for?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BOOGIE WOOGIE ALL THE WAY !, 1 Jun 2011
By 
pete clack - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Boogie 4 Stu - A Tribute To Ian Stewart (Audio CD)
I've seen Ben Waters on many occasions and say without reserve he's the best boogie woogie pianist around, and this stunning set proves it throughout, in a tribute to a UK keyboard legend. Along with Ben we are treated to a line up of the best in UK rhythm and blues including Ronnie Wood,Keith Richards,Bill Wyman, Jools Holland,Charlie Watts ands Ben's cousin P J Harvey. In fact for the last year or so Charlie Watts has been on some of Ben's tours in the UK and Europe.Add to the mix Ben's regular band of Richard Hymas and Ady Millward and you know your in for one great party of a CD.An addition is a live track by Ian Stewart himself (often called the sixth Rolling Stone). From the kick off Ben playing Albert Ammons 'Boogie Woogie Stomp',we get music from greats such as James Milburn,Maceo Merriweather and Joe Turner all given a fabulous makeover by this great line up.How about Mick Jagger's version of Dylan's 'Watchiung The River Flow' or P.J.Harvey's take on 'Lonely Avenue' or an original piece by Ben And Jools Holland on 'Boogie For Stu'. This album displays throughout the best of British talent quite equal to the great players of the past from the other side of the ocean.Surely it will win awards if there is any justice,but more than that it's an album that lifts the spirits, makes you wanna dance, and a portion of the profits are going to the British Heart Association's Mending Broken Hearts Appeal, so the more we buy the more they recieve in return.This is as I've said a stomping good five star album by The fabulous Ben Water's and some pretty talented friends.UNMISSABLE.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A special tribute, 13 May 2011
This review is from: Boogie 4 Stu - A Tribute To Ian Stewart (Audio CD)
If you are a fan of Boogie Woogie, this is a must have. Superb music played by superb musicians, a fitting tribute to a highly rated man in the music industry. Watching the river flow featuring Mick Jagger is quite brilliant.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boogie- woogie at its best., 9 Aug 2011
This review is from: Boogie 4 Stu - A Tribute To Ian Stewart (Audio CD)
What can you say about an album like this? with one or two notable exceptions everyone who is anyone in the upper strata of rock music is on there somewhere.How could the beat be anything but immaculate with the immaculate Charlie Watts on drums?. Its a great shame that Nicky hopkins is no longer with us,he,d love to have been involved in something like this.Brilliant production, fine editing and all done with love and respect for "Stu", make this a listening pleasure that will always stay sharp and never lose its edge. A one sentence sum-up " take one track a day with a tumbler of a single malt"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars boogie piano, 17 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Boogie 4 Stu - A Tribute To Ian Stewart (Audio CD)
very well put together cd with help from jools holland and others (stones) was nice to hear all the stones playing together again even if it was recorded at different times overall a good mixture of tunes and as you would expect piano to the fore
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does it get better than this?, 4 Jun 2011
This review is from: Boogie 4 Stu - A Tribute To Ian Stewart (Audio CD)
It's boogie pianist Ben Water's moving tribute to his first inspiration Ian Stewart - family friend who was Rolling Stones founder with Brian Jones. Stu was the invisible Stone after manager Andrew Loog Oldham decided he didn't have a hip image, so invisibly played piano (and other instruments) on albums and tours till his death in '85 from a heart attack. Hence the British Heart Foundation, courtesy of Ben, benefit from the profits of this wonderful CD.

The Stones added their enthusiasm to the tribute as well as Jools Holland and P J Harvey (Ben's cousin, whose parents were close friends of Stu).

Boogie 4 Stu is an immensely satisfying album at every level (excellent engineering with the piano voices a particular pleasure), from the knowing cover portrait by Sir Peter Blake, of Stu modestly at the keyboard, to the final track of Stu and his legendary band Rocket 88 in fine form in '84. If blues and boogie float your boat, you'll be cruisin'!

Track 1 cracks off with Ben's impatient, itchy solo rendition of Albert Ammons' Boogie Woogie Stomp from the 30's, the Golden Age of Boogie. Good boogie is eternal! Then to the West Coast for a straight-ahead Amos Milburn's `40's Rooming House Boogie augmented by Stones Keith and Bill, and Ben's regular sidemen.

Up to Chicago for a sensitive Maceo Merriweather's Worried Life Blues with Keith handling vocals, Jools on Hammond, and some down-home bottleneck from Ronnie, with Charlie carrying the tempo modestly.

Track 4 moves to a block-blaster Ben and Jools instrumental composition Boogie for Stu, a wonderful blend of traditional and jazz boogie. A great 4-handed boogie, taking influences from everywhere, but without resorting to clichés. A fitting tribute.

Jools clearly relates to old time pianist Jimmy Yancey. A solid performance comparing with the ethereal recording of Jimmy and his wife Estelle. Track 6 is another 4-handed gem with Charlie showing that less is often more.

PJ Harvey and Ben deliver the most deviant version of Lonely Avenue to date (credited to Stephen Marley, but sounding pretty much like the Doc Pomus original). Recorded at Owermoigne Cricket Club with Stu's own piano gently provoked, some strange subtle Hammond sounds and PJ adding sax too.

Mick Jagger shows that he still is grounded in the blues with Bob Dylan's classic Watching the River Flow, with a big band of great musicianship. I could imagine Bob broadcasting it on Theme Time Radio!

Veteran blues shouter Hamish Maxwell fronts Ben and Jools on a 4-handed Roll `em Pete worthy of the classic pairing of Big Joe Turner and Pete Johnson. Ben next delivers a wonderfully measured Suitcase Blues embellished with a rather sweet Dr John style closing phrase.

This all leads to a finale of Stu and Rocket 88, then a solid 7 piece R n B band,
with Send It On Home to Me (a UK hit with The Animals), with Stu in Little Willie Littlefield mode - driving Texas R n B.

A wonderful tribute from which the British Heart Foundation will surely profit.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 11 July 2014
By 
Auguste Luys "DVDMAN" (OSTEND ,BELGIUM) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Boogie 4 Stu - A Tribute To Ian Stewart (Audio CD)
excellent
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Boogie 4 Stu - A Tribute To Ian Stewart
Boogie 4 Stu - A Tribute To Ian Stewart by Ben Waters (Audio CD - 2011)
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