James Booker :: Live @ Montreux Jazz Festival, July 1978

Ahoy there. I featured this rare 1978 live recording, from the Montreux Jazz Festival, on AD in October of 2005 as part of the original Live Upload Series. I suspect a good many of you were not following the blog way back then, so with New Orleans' Jazz Fest on the horizon I'm re-upping it here. I have several live "albums" from this New Orleans piano master, and Live @ Montreux is by far the best. Very raw arrangements with Booker backed by a loose pick-up band that just swings. Spiders on keys, indeed.

If you're unfamiliar with James Booker and/or traditional New Orleans piano-based music, this set, some Dr. John and a Professor Longhair collection are a fine introduction. I've long had an affinity for this stuff and will be posting some other choice, related, nuggets leading up to fest so stay tuned. Booker was the king---fucked up, yes---but the king nonetheless. Brilliant. If you can find it (as it's often out-of-print) read the Booker excerts in the Dr. John biography "Under a Hoodoo Moon." Wild/fascinating tales.

The below video of Booker performing “Papa Was A Rascal” is taken either from a French television performance from the same year – presumably from the same tour – or from the Montreux session itself. The exact date of the performance is up for debate among fans.

MP3: James Booker :: Medley: Pretty Baby/Winin’ Boy Blues
MP3: James Booker :: Pixie
MP3: James Booker :: Medley: Penny Lane/I Saw Her Standing There
MP3: James Booker :: True
MP3: James Booker :: The Long Last Laugh
MP3: James Booker :: Junco Partner
MP3: James Booker :: Look What I’ve Got
MP3: James Booker :: Medley: Tipitina/The Grass Looks Greener
MP3: James Booker :: Papa Was A Rascal
MP3: James Booker :: Let’s Make A Better World

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