10 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Recorded October 29th and 30th, 1976, at Onkel Po’s Hall in Hamburg, Germany, The Piano Prince of New Orleans starts with a subject that James Booker knew a lot about. “Life” is a rolling locomotive rhythm that features Booker chanting a line that's more truthful than the listener might understand: “I don’t know what I been told about the work of the devil, but now I know.” The piece manages to be a liquored-up dance tune and a personal lament all at once, making it emblematic of Booker’s talents. No two of Booker’s sets were ever the same, and this particular date has a distinctively slow quality to it, as though the pianist is squeezing “Classified” and “Junko Partner” for every last ounce of truth. The most unique moment is Booker’s rendition of two vintage tunes by Billy Ward & The Dominoes: “Sixty Minute Man” and “You Talk Too Much.” Hearing Booker transform “Sixty Minute Man”—originally a lascivious ode to sexual endurance—into a weeping instrumental is indicative both of his sensitivity and his sense of humor.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Recorded October 29th and 30th, 1976, at Onkel Po’s Hall in Hamburg, Germany, The Piano Prince of New Orleans starts with a subject that James Booker knew a lot about. “Life” is a rolling locomotive rhythm that features Booker chanting a line that's more truthful than the listener might understand: “I don’t know what I been told about the work of the devil, but now I know.” The piece manages to be a liquored-up dance tune and a personal lament all at once, making it emblematic of Booker’s talents. No two of Booker’s sets were ever the same, and this particular date has a distinctively slow quality to it, as though the pianist is squeezing “Classified” and “Junko Partner” for every last ounce of truth. The most unique moment is Booker’s rendition of two vintage tunes by Billy Ward & The Dominoes: “Sixty Minute Man” and “You Talk Too Much.” Hearing Booker transform “Sixty Minute Man”—originally a lascivious ode to sexual endurance—into a weeping instrumental is indicative both of his sensitivity and his sense of humor.

TITLE TIME

More By James Booker

You May Also Like