Three on piano
In this guitar-centric culture it’s a treat to see the piano get some attention; here are three CDs that help to correct this imbalance. Deanna Bogart is an anomaly, by which I mean she can’t be pigeonholed. Primarily a pianist, she can also blow a mean tenor sax. On Pianoland, it’s all piano and vocals. In addition to some swinging originals (“On And On And,” “In the Rain”) and some covers (a heartfelt “Over the Rainbow”) she also knocks the hell out of Pete Johnson’s “Death Ray Boogie.” Great piece of work by this Detroit veteran and her combo. In 2010 pianist Mitch Woods and his Rocket 88s toured Turkey; their five-week trip’s highlight is a Live in Istanbul concert with the ebullient Woods pounding the eighty-eights like there was no tomorrow. Among the 14 tracks on Blues Beyond Borders are a few of his classics (e.g., “Solid Gold Cadillac”) and such certified crowd pleasers as “Rocket 88.” The prolific Rob Rio’s latest, Omniboogie 2012, finds him in a solo setting working out on a batch of originals and a couple of covers; one of them, “Fickle Jelly Jam,” is his take on a Jelly Roll Morton tune. He really gets down with such eight-beats-to-the-bar goods as “Rumble Boogie” and “Swingers Boogie.” Another solid performance by this boogie-woogie master!