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Meade Lux Lewis - The First Day (1939)

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Meade Lux Lewis

Producer Alfred Lion was very impressed when he attended John Hammond's Spirituals to Swing concert of Dec. 23, 1938, which had introduced boogie woogie pianists Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis to New York audiences. Two weeks later, he started the Blue Note label by recording nine Ammons solos, eight by Lewis, and a pair of heated duets during a single day. All of the music (except an untitled original by Meade Lux Lewis slated to be issued by Blue Note in the future) is on this single CD. Ammons, the more forceful (relatively speaking) of the two pianists, generally takes honors, but there are plenty of rewarding performances, including Lewis' five-part "The Blues," Ammons' "Boogie Woogie Stomp," and their duet on "Nagasaki." Highly recommended to collectors who do not already own Mosaic's more extensive three-LP limited-edition Ammons/Lewis set. ~ Scott Yanow