Jan Johansson: St. Louis Blues


St. Louis Blues


Jan Johansson (piano)


300.000 (Heptagon HECD-006)

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Jan Johansson (piano).

Composed by W.C. Handy


Recorded: Stockholm, Sweden, July 8, 1968


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Countless innovative recordings of this W.C. Handy staple exist, but this solo "test version" from a soundcheck is particularly thrilling for its freedom and motion. The exuberant spirit of blues meant something far different in the 1960s than when this song was originally composed by Handy in jazz's early days and first published in 1914. With his rendition, Jan Johansson, the Swedish giant of jazz, goes out on a limb and finds himself perfectly at home in a frontier of tone clusters, rhythmic displacements and jagged phrasing.

Reviewer: David Tenenholtz

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