Little Brother Montgomery, Little Brother Montgomery (1930-1954)

John Morthland

By John Morthland

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Arguably the most versatile of all blues piano men.

Best known for the astonishing "Vicksburg Blues" and "No Special Rider Blues," the barrelhousing Little Brother Montgomery was a great writer and arguably the most versatile of all blues piano men. He grew up listening to ragtime, idolized Jelly Roll Morton, and absorbed stride and boogie into his early style; while his roots remained obvious, he stayed up-to-date until his 1985 death. Because the Document album of his prewar work is no longer available, this has to do: eleven tracks as accompanist, four fronting a jazz band, and nine postwar solo tracks on which he sounds like two men playing at once.