Laying It Down
I have always been enchanted by modern American piano playing, especially when it comes to stride, boogie and just upbeat paced players. Artists like Art Tatum, James P. Johnson, Little Brother Montgomery, James Booker, Thelonius Monk, Wynton Kelly, Otis Spann, Fats Waller, Jellyroll Morton . . . the list is endless. There are still many pianists out there today, though most just do not seem to receive the same type of recognition as their predecessors. The Pacific Northwest has produced or seen a number of great keyboard masters, including the likes of D.K.Stewart, David Vest, Steve Kerin and Janice Scroggins amongst them. Throw into that mix Seattle’s Arthur Migliazza.
Migliazza recently competed in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and found himself in the finals. His latest release, Laying It Down, is almost like a piano history lesson. He covers a wide range of classic piano styles with tasty runs and it is out of this world fantastic.
New Orleans R&B is captured with wild abandon when Migliazza takes on Fats Domino’s “I’m Ready” and Huey smith’s “Rockin’ Pneumonia & The Boogie Woogie Flu.” That city has historically been synonymous with piano players and he pays tribute to perhaps its best known artist Professor Longhair on the song “Professor Calling Me” as he combines his own arrangements intermixed with Longhair’s “Tipitina.” And it sounds great. He also tips his hat to Paul Barbaran, though not a piano player but a drummer, Barbaran wrote one of New Orleans’ finest Mardi Gras numbers with “Bourbon Street Parade. Migliazza throws a little Dixieland backing into the piece by adding banjo and fiddle to the mix. You can just picture the second line heading down the street.
You simply have to smile when listening to the combination of “Sing, Sing, Sing” done as a medley with “Bumble Boogie.” The former, a Louis Prima song, fits in perfectly with the early 60s track by the appropriately named B. Bumble & The Stingers. It just kicks up the fun, showcasing Migliazza’s love for all things on the 88s.
And you know that his education on modern piano is truly complete as he includes a couple tracks by one of the absolute best of all time, Albert Ammons. Migliazza does the master true justice with his interpretations of “Boogie Woogie Stomp” and “The Boogie Rocks.”
For anybody who just cannot get enough boogie in your lives, Arthur Migliazza answers your wishes. Incredible, this man knows his way around a set of keys. Get prepared to have your heart start racing trying to keep up with his fingers as he takes you on a trip up one side and back down the other. You know this is piano candy and you’re sitting in that candy shop taking it all in.
Total Time: 50:06
Overture / I’m Ready / Rockin’ Pneumonia & The Boogie Woogie Flu / Boogie Woogie Stomp / Love You Mama / Sing Sing Sing – Bumble Boogie / Bourbon Street Parade / Thank You Blues/ Honky Tonk Train Blues / Suitcase Blues / St Louis Blues / Professor Calling Me / The Boogie Rocks