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Meade Lux Lewis: Barrel House Piano

Meade Lux Lewis Barrel House PianoMeade Lux Lewis Barrel House Piano
Meade Lux Lewis: Barrel House Piano
(Tops L1533)

Side A:
Six Wheel Chaser
How Long Blues
Someday Sweetheart
Bugle Call Rag
I Ain't Gonna Give Nobody None Of My Jelly Roll
Mike
Darktown Strutters Ball
Birth Of The Blues

Side B:
Tidal Boogie
Mardi Gras Drag
Tisho Mingo Blues
Jada
Basin Street Blues
Fast "A" Blues
12th Street Rag
St. Louis Blues

Original Liner Notes:
The strong influence of Barrelhouse Piano on popular music supports the contention that it is a pure form in jazz -an American idiom. The best Barrelhouse players, and Meade Lux Lexis has always ranked high among them, have much to say through their pianos. Their music is honest and forthright, without equivocation or sophistication. It is a means of expression ans interwoven with rhythm and melody it is possible to perceive a real and plaintive urgency.

Meade Lux Lewis is an expert ivory-tickler whose rapid fingers, sure form thousands of hours of playing from a sitting or standing position under the most adverse conditions, is said to have worn out 14 uprights in his lifetime, and actually had one of them collapse under him as he played.

In years past Barrelhouse players operated principally in saloons and honk-tonks, pianos were seldom the best, and invariably out of tune for the style of playing was vigorous, calling for all a man's energy. No piano played day in that manner could possibly stay in tune. Customers and admirers would often sit on the piano through the small hours of the smoky night, and frequently drinks were inadvertently spilled into the action.

This, then was the climate of the Barrelhouse piano player when Meade Lux Lexis came on the scene. He was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1905. From the beginning, it seems, music was as much a part of him as the air he breathed. You might as well have deprived him of food and drink as to shunt him out of melody and rhythm. Jimmis Yantey in Chicago served as his inspiration in becoming a nightclub pianist. Deserved recognition was not overlong in coming. Meade steadily gathered about him a coterie of enthralled devotees who regarded him as the most.

The old Paramount label realizing that here was a positive find asked him to record 'Honky Tonk Train Blues'. Its success was immediate and tremendous. It brought him national recognition. His career has been a most exciting and varied one, including, together with Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson many appearances at New York's Cafe Society and the mecca of music itself, Carnegie Hall.

Those of us who appreciate Boogie Woogie and Barrelhouse piano can be grateful for the many superb albums Meade Lux Lewis has found time to put on wax in between his personal appearance dates. We believe this album, his latest fabulous effort, combining, as it does, the ultimate in Hi-Fidelity and tremendous performance, will be hailed as his greatest.

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