Otis Spann, Otis Spann Is The Blues

John Morthland

By John Morthland

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A blues pianist with the ultimate combination: chops and passion.

Muddy's main man played boogie-plus: his left-hand basslines rumbled deeper than others, and played off his right-hand chording to pack an emotional wallop. He was the ultimate combination of chops and passion, and this is his greatest showcase. Paired only with guitarist Robert Jr. Lockwood, his playing is bright, immediate, urgent and virtuosic on "Otis in the Dark," "I Got Rambling on My Mind," and, for that matter, everything else; his distinctive, smoky vocals are a lagniappe.