Solo Piano – Boogie, Blues and Stomps (19 Tracks)
With Shorthanded, I got to play some of my favourite tunes, and showcase the compositions I play when I am hired to play festivals as a Blues piano artist. The piano is recorded in a unique way which puts the listener on the piano bench next to the player. I didn’t want the listener to feel like they were out in the audience listening to a concert, which is how most piano CDs are recorded. I wanted to recreate what the piano sounds like to me, the player. It’s right in your face. I think we succeeded in capturing what it sounds like to be at the piano.
I play a number of original compositions and five standards all based in the Blues tradition. Some, like Tipitina, Louisiana Alibi, Mac’s Bounce and Rockin’ Pneumonia are in the N’Orleans R&B style made famous by James Booker, Professor Longhair, Huey Piano Smith and Dr. John. A few are outright boogies like O.P.s Boogie, the Mess Around and Spann’s Boogie and yet others are hard to classify, gospel-tinged stomps like Shorthanded Stomp, Count Me In Stride and the C Roll Blues. There is also Lady Pete a musical jazz tribute to Oscar Peterson. Shorthanded is two-fisted piano playing. I’m playing “shorthanded” without my usual backing band but with this recording at 73 minutes of Rockin’ the 88s and “tickling the ivories” the listener is not short changed either!
These last few years I have been very busy touring and recording with Shakura S’Aida, Danny Brooks, Genius+Soul, and producing many acts including the Juno nominated CD by Fathead, ‘Where’s the Blues Taking Me’, Chris Murphy, and playing on Ian Gillan’s (Deep Purple) solo record called ‘One Eye on Morocco’.
John Valenteyne – Maple Blues
“Every track brims with authenticity, dexterity and a keen historical insight…”
Dave Murphy – pianist T.O.
“For me, ‘Shorthanded’ is an excellent anthology of solo blues piano styles and a must for any piano player wanting to understand the art.”
Will Davis – pianist, Orillia ON
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