It’s one of the most widely played songs in the blues, but not much is known about Robert Petway, the man who recorded the definitive early version of “Catfish Blues”. The scant information that exists tells a familiar story of a Delta musician who headed to Chicago to make records. But after recording a mere […]
Bunch learned to arrange for big bands while held captive in a German POW camp during WWII. After returning stateside, he worked with the likes of Woody Herman, Gene Krupa and Benny Goodman, and was Tony Bennett’s pianist for a number of years. Bunch died earlier this year, so Piano Jazz remembers him with this 1991 session.
Skip James was one of the first influential blues players. Although he came from the same Mississippi culture that produced Delta blues, James had a unique sound, built around unusual guitar tunings and his eerie falsetto. Robert Johnson based his song “32-20 Blues” around James’ lesser known “22-20 Blues”, and Cream famously covered his song […]
During the 1960s there was a golden age of soul music in America. Some of the greatest songs from that era came from the Stax Recording Studio in Memphis, Tennessee. A short list of artists who recorded there could include Otis Redding, Rufus Thomas, Sam & Dave and the instrumental band led by Hammond organist, […]
Ron Carter has set the standard for modern jazz bass players. He rose to fame with Miles Davis, but went on to play with Stan Getz and Thelonious Monk. His recording work spans 2,000 albums, and he’s had equally successful careers as a bandleader, composer and educator. Hear the bassist in a session on Piano Jazz.