Stony Plain Records
Speaking of the blues, Jay McShann is the real deal. The Kansas City pianist has been performing the blues since the 1940s, and he still knows how to play keyboard-based blues with a ton of passion some six decades later.
Thankfully, the little recording label gem which is Stony Plain Records out of Alberta has seen fit to capture McShann on this hot little CD Hootie Blues.
This is one of those recordings worth adding to the collection simply because of who is tickling the ivories. There simply aren't that many performers, blues, or otherwise, who have been with their music as long as McShann, (born in 1916), and that makes this one special.
This CD was recorded live in 2001 at the Montreal Bistro in Toronto, and that adds to the effort too as it offers up the energy of performing in front of an audience.
McShann offers up familiar works such as Yes Sir, That's My Baby? (a sweet eight-minute rendition), My Chile and Deed I Do, which goes over nine minutes.
This is McShann's fourth recording with Stony Plain, and you are left hoping they have more material in the vault to keep bringing this fine piano blues to fans.
This is a veteran musician whose voice and piano playing is still sharp, and should be a must-have for anyone into piano blues. Check it out at www.stonyplainrecords.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Jan.16, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada