Blues from the Gutter
Long out-of-print, this recently reissued 1958 session is a must for blues piano hounds. Recorded in New York City under the watch of famed Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler, the New Orleans barrelhouse pianist is in peak form supported by a crack band featuring saxophonis Pete Brown. The title is fed by Dupree's song choices, which include the down 'n' dirty after hours numbers "Junker's Blues" and "Can't Kick the Habit," as well as the classic murder ballads "Stack-O-Lee" and "Frankie & Johnny." They're served well by Dupree's strong, declarative voice, but the heart of the music's literally in Dupree's hands. The propulsive grooves of his left and the deft rolls and improvised filigrees of his right, which still echo in the playing of today's finest blues keyboardists.