Cover image for Masters of the boogie piano
Masters of the boogie piano
Publication Information:
Chicago, Ill. : Delmark Records, [2003]

Physical Description:
1 audio disc (38 min., 57 sec.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Compact disc.
Wilkins Street stomp (Speckled Red) (2:38) -- Bear cat crawl (Meade Lux Lewis) (2:14) -- A boogie woogie (Sir Charles Thompson) (4:03) -- North Gulfport boogie (Roosevelt Sykes) (3:03) -- 66 stomp (Pete Johnson) (2:43) -- Clo clo boogie (Ken Saydak) (3:49) -- Hersal blues (Albert Ammons) (2:32) -- Bye bye baby (Robert McCoy) (3:01) -- Bass key boogie (Little Brother Mongomery) (2:57) -- Memories of Albert Ammons (Steve Behr) (4:23) -- Curtis Jones' boogie woogie (Curtis Jones) (4:31) -- Boogie woogie prayer (Albert Ammons, Meade Lux Lewis, Pete Johnson) (2:33).
Format :
Music CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
JAZZ .ZM423 M Compact Disc Central Library

On Order



When John Lee Hooker recorded his original version of "Boogie Chillun" in 1948, he uttered one of the most famous phrases in the history of the blues: "let that boy boogie woogie because it's in him and it's got to come out." The influential blues singer was using the term boogie as a verb, but on this compilation, boogie is used as a noun and refers to a specific style of blues/jazz piano playing. Boogie piano peaked in the '30s and '40s, but it continued to be played long after that, and Masters of the Boogie Piano, which spans 1939-2001, focuses on boogie during a 62-year period. Some of the recordings go back to boogie's heyday, including Meade "Lux" Lewis' "Bear Cat Crawl" and Albert Ammons' 1939 performance of Hersal Thomas' "Hersal Blues." Also from 1939 is "Boogie Woogie Prayer," a piano summit that unites Lewis and Ammons (Gene Ammons' father) with another one of instrumental boogie's all-time greats: Pete Johnson. But not everyone on this 2003 release was a full-time instrumentalist who exclusively played boogie. Early-'60s recordings by Curtis Jones and Roosevelt Sykes are two examples of blues singers playing the piano in a boogie style -- and similarly, swing-to-bop pianist Sir Charles Thompson makes a boogie detour on "A Boogie Woogie" (recorded live at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago in 2000). One could nitpick about the lack of liner notes or the fact that the CD only lasts 39 minutes, but then, Masters of the Boogie Piano is part of Delmark's budget-line series and has a recommended retail price of only $7.98 in the United States -- not exactly exorbitant by 2003 standards. Masters of the Boogie Piano is far from the last word on boogie piano, but it's an enjoyable disc that paints an attractive picture of the lively, exuberant style. ~ Alex Henderson