Pete Johnson, Hey! Piano Man: Selected Boogie Woogie Sides Remastered (Disc 3 : With Harry James)

John Morthland

By John Morthland

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A K.C. King that incorporates all the best traits of his peers.

You can hardly go wrong, of course, if you opt for Jimmy Yancey, Meade Lux Lewis or Albert Ammons, the other boogie-woogie heroes featured in this four-disc box. The case for this K.C. king is that he had the breadth of Yancey with the energy of Ammons and the quirkiness of Lewis. Rooted more in stride, his pianistics were a bit jazzier than those of his peers — Johnson swung — without undercutting the physical attack. When he leans into the likes of "Let 'Em Jump," he doesn't just drive like only the best boogie men can; he starts in overdrive and accelerates.