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Otis Spann - Is The Blues (1960/2000)

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Otis Spann - Is The Blues (1960/2000)

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1 	The Hard Way	5:00
2 	Take A Little Walk With Me	3:23
3 	Otis In The Dark	4:32
4 	Little Boy Blue	3:38
5 	Country Boy	4:22
6 	Beat-Up Team	5:57
7 	My Daily Wish	4:10
8 	Great Northern Stomp	4:13
9 	I Got Rumbling On My Mind #2	4:00
10 	Worried Life Blues	4:22
Hidden Bonus Tracks
11 	Spann And Bob	3:19
12 	Can’t Stand Your Evil Ways (Take 2)	3:43
13 	Talkin’ The Blues (Take 1)	5:42
14 	Baby Child (Take 3)	4:26
15 	Cow Cow Blues	4:16
16 	Beat-Up Team (First Version)	6:36

Guitar, Vocals – Robert Lockwood Jr. 
Piano, Vocals – Otis Spann 
 
Tracks 11-16 are hidden bonus tracks and are not listed anywhere on the artwork.
These tracks were originally on the Japanese releases on P-Vine Records and on the limited-edition Mosaic box set. 

 

Otis Spann may not have been the blues, but he was sure close to being the blues pianist. Spann provided wonderful, imaginative, tasty piano solos and better-than-average vocals, and was arguably the best player whose style was more restrained than animated. Not that he couldn't rock the house, but Spann's forte was making you think as well as making you dance, and the tracks on Otis Spann Is the Blues will do both. ---Ron Wynn, AllMusic Review

 

NOT only is there no doubting that Otis Spann is one of the finest exponents of Chicago Blues piano ever, there can also be little doubt that this record, originally released by Candid Records in 1960, is one of the best recordings of Spann as a front man.

He was normally considered to be Muddy Waters' accompanist and yet he was a great lyrical story teller in the Blues idiom in his own right. On this recording, he shares vocal duties with Robert Lockwood Junior, who also plays the guitars and the interplay between the two men is tangible.

The instrumental duet within the track, "Beat Up Team", when Spann says, "Watch out Brother Robert" and launches into a piano solo which is more than ably answered by Lockwood on the guitar, is a joy and during the intro of the following track, "My Daily Wish", the duelling continues in a musical symbiosis which lifts the album well above the ordinary.

A great example of the genre and some damn fine tunes. Hard to list stand out tracks as they are all so good, however, "Otis In The Dark" with its piano solo by Spann, "Beat Up Team" and "My Daily Wish" are archetypal Blues songs and the album's closing song, "Worried Life Blues", sums it all up. As the man says,

"This is my story.  

All I got to say to you.  

So long baby, 

I don't care what you do.".  

This record is part of the series of 100% authentic analogue re-releases on 180g vinyl that have been audiophile remastered by Pure Pleasure Records. As ever, with Pure Pleasure Records, the quality is exquisite and is well worth a listen. ---Paul Stewart, express.co.uk

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