Living Blues - 11/03, p.60
"...An uncluttered showcase for the still-potent gifts of one of the most influential jazz and blues pianists alive..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 3/04, p.1104 stars out of 5
- "[A] vivacious set of piano blues, boogie woogie and jazz."
Personnel: Jay McShann (vocals, piano); Maria Muldaur (vocals); Johnnie Johnson (piano); Duke Robillard (acoustic & electric guitars); Milt Able (bass); Tommy Ruskin (drums).
Principally recorded at Soundtrek, University Of Missouri, Kansas City, Missouri; Duke's Mood Room, Pawtucket, Rhode Island; Synergy Sound, Chimacum, Washington. Includes liner notes by Holger Petersen.
GOIN' TO KANSAS CITY was nominated for the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album.
Personnel: Jay McShann (vocals, piano); Johnnie Johnson (vocals, piano); Maria Muldaur (vocals); Duke Robillard (acoustic guitar, electric guitar).
Audio Mixers: Duke Robillard; Thom Hiller.
Liner Note Author: Holger Petersen.
Recording information: Duke's Mood Room, Pawtucket, RI; Jay McShann's Home, Kansas City; Performing Arts Centre, University Of Missouri, Kansas; Soundtrek Recording Studios, Kansas City, MO; Synergy Sound, Chimacum, WA.
Photographers: Duke Robillard; Holger Petersen.
Jay "Hootie" McShann is best known by aficionados as a lynchpin of the blues, swing, and jazz scene in Kansas City during its 1940s heyday. Home to the likes of Count Basie and Charlie Parker (who began his career playing in McShann's band), Kansas City refined the heavily blues-based swing music that eventually gave birth to bop, R&B, and rock & roll.
In a series of sessions between 2001 and 2003, McShann is joined here by the great Johnnie Johnson for a two-piano duet, and by Maria Muldaur for a spirited rendition of "Confessin' the Blues." But it is McShann's solo vocal and piano performances that really stand out. While his voice shows signs of age (as on his moving, understated treatment of "When I Grow Too Old Too Dream"), his fingers still blaze across the keys, as the stride showcase "The Fish Fry Boogie" amply proves. The bonus track, a 20 minute interview with McShann--not to mention the back cover photo of McShann standing before Jones Barber Shop and Billiard Parlor)--are added incentive to pick up this fine collection.