Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Memphis Slim Live at Ronnie Scott's|
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Blues musician Memphis Slim performs live in London with special guests Paul Jones, Slim Gaillard, and the I Dance Jazz dance group. Genre: Music Videos - Blues Rating: NR Release Date: 26-DEC-2006 Media Type: DVD
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A Blues Piano Treat
Alfred Johnson | boston, ma | 05/20/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you listen to enough blues. If you watch enough films about the blues. If you read enough blues liner notes you not only will become "educated" about this genre but will be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. In other words who's paid the dues to the blues, and who hasn't. I have spilled plenty of ink in this space discussing the various personalities, who formed that great post-World War II electric blues explosion centered on Chicago and its environs. I have extolled Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Magic Slim, John Lee Hooker and the like. And rightly so. However, every once in a while one needs to freshen up the list as one reviews more material. That was the case with my recent "discovery" of the legendary country blues master, Bukka White. I now add Memphis Slim to the electric blues side.
It is not as if I did not know the name Memphis Slim. And heard his work in various blues compilations, especially from his Chess Record days and on the American Folk Blues series from the 1960's. As noted above once you are immersed in the blues genre and begin to find out who the blues greats acknowledge as their own these things get sorted out quickly. I kept hearing the name Memphis Slim uttered from their lips, as companion and influence. Strangely, after the golden age of the barrelhouse piano player in the 1920's and 1930's there was something of a hiatus in the blues piano as the electric guitar began to dominate. Memphis Slim carries that blues piano tradition forward to the "new age".
Frankly, every once in awhile a blues piano is the kind of thing that you need to while away your own blues. It provides a more evocative, cleaner sound that the hyper-energetic electric guitar of late Saturday nights. As Memphis Slim himself mentions in between songs in the film, when discussing what he believes the blues are all about, the blues are about hunger, sorrow, longing for love, lost loves and the like. But they are also about happier events as well. Both lyric renditions and piano styles are on display here as Memphis goes through his paces to an appreciative British audience (Ronnie Scott's is, or was, a famous night spot in London) in 1986. So if you want to watch a master at the blues piano and no mean blues vocal stylist this is your address.