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King of the New Orleans Keyboard

5.0 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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King Of The New Orleans Keyboard
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Audio CD, March 3, 1995
$199.98 $24.97

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Editorial Reviews

pianist. vocalist James Booker. Quintessential New Orleans, R&B, Jazz, Rock, Soul, R&B, classical,

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. How Do You Feel
  2. Classified
  3. One Hell Of A Nerve
  4. Blues Rhapsody
  5. Rockin' Pneumonia
  6. Please Send Me Someone To Love
  7. All By Myself
  8. Ain't Nobody's Business
  9. Something You Got
  10. Harlem In Hamburg
  11. Put Out The Light
  12. Ray Charles Medley
  13. Tipitina-Loberta
  14. Junco Partner
  15. Drown In The River
  16. Black Night
  17. Goodnight Sweetheart
  18. Lonely Avenue


Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 3, 1995)
  • Original Release Date: 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Jsp Records
  • ASIN: B000001BI0
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #807,309 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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While this disc is still essential listening for a Booker-head like myself, it's probably not THE one to start with. I think his inspiration level was on medium, particularly on the first few selections. That's also where some of the more pedestrian compositions are, which doesn't help with the first-impression making. (I don't know if the disc reproduces a single concert in performance order, but he seems more into his playing and singing it as the disc goes on.)

Here, he seems to put the most feeling into the ballads--perhaps he was getting a little homesick at this point in his German tour. Not to say that his playing is bad on the uptempo stuff. This version of Rockin' Pneumonia is fun. He's not out of control or lethargic by any means (and with later Booker, this was unfortuately a possibility). Also, these tunes are his core repetoire, so he's not fumbling on anything. But he's not on fire as he can be during his very best moments. Here, he turns in a lot of joyous music, and delivers some unique moments that aren't repeated elsewhere.

A digression from this CD...

Personally, my picks for solo Booker albums are "Resurrection of the Bayou Maharajah" and "Junco Partner" -- they feature New Orleans piano and singing at it's very best. On "Resurrection" (and it's all-instrumental companion "Spiders on the Keys") you get the best takes selected from dozens (hundreds?) of hours of his playing taped informally at the Maple Leaf bar in New Orleans. The fidelity isn't the highest, but it's like being a fly on the wall at a private party where Booker was at the top of his game. It's true that some of these Maple Leaf performances were affected what sounds like untreated manic depression (and a helping of substance abuse).
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Format: Audio CD
I'm probably the only musician in Italy that knows the incredible Music of James Booker! (what a shame! ) This record is maybe my favourite (i've got them all). Ispired, very good sound, so many songs and, most of all, just James's voice and fingers. It's impossible to listen to more art from a single man. Long life to the music of Booker, Longhair and Dr John!
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Format: Audio CD
I'm surprised there has been no previous review of this live album. For those interested mainly in Booker's remarkably sophisticated and soulful piano, this is the album to get. Intimate, well-recorded, and raw at the edges, it provides 75 minutes of James partying and singing at the keyboard to the delight of the small club's audience. I recommend this, along with "Junco Partner", as Booker's purest New Orleans solo piano recordings. My only objection is that the liner notes give no indication of where or when this recording was made.
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Although I've submitted a change of the bogus listed title twice to Amazon they refuse to change this CD to the correct ttitle,"KING OF THE NEW ORLEANS KEYBOARD."
As a result I bought ordered both albums with different covers but they are exactly the same title with the same songs!

buyer beware!
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James Booker was at the very pinnacle of the genre known to some as 'New Orleans Piano'. Classically trained, a road warrior with different artists such as Joe Tex, Lionel Hampton & Ringo Starr, Booker was a man who played any kind of stuff at will. His way of transforming just about any song into his own elaborate creation remains unsurpassed, and his keyboard pyrotechnics continue to baffle and boggle the mind... Booker's recordings are varied, and a lot of people have released obscure tapes of him in various states of mind and degrees of intoxication. Some of this material ought to have remained in the can. This cd, however, seems to catch him in a good laid back mood - in control of the situation, both musically and performance-wise. Booker works his way through his staple repertoir, with a few surprises thrown in here and there. If you can't get your hands on PIANO PRINCE FROM NEW ORLEANS; BLUES AND RAGTIME FROM NEW ORLEANS or JUNCO PARTNER, this one will do nicely, in addition to all the records on Rounder. Enjoy, that's all I can say.
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I love a musician that can play the ivories on a piano. I had never heard of him until I saw his CD on Pandora. It's just fantastic and it's the kind of music that lots of people don't know exist. It's a shame he died and never got to really come into fame. Like the Fat's Domino piece he did. Booker didn't just play one kind of music, he moved all around and made that piano sound awesome.
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