Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Joe Turner - Champion Jack Dupree

A rare French TV gem from the Sixties featuring two greats: Joe Turner born in Baltimore, 3 Nov 1907 died in Montreuil, France, 21 July 1990 (not to be confused with his great blues singer namesake "Big" Joe Turner), a dazzling stride pianist who played with all the greats in Harlem during the Twenties, Louis Armstrong amongst them, and the great "Champion" Jack Dupree (1910 - 1992), the embodiment of of the New Orleans blues and boogie woogie pianist, a true barrelhouse "professor" and a great showman to boot as these videos attest. The show is left in its entirety to preserve the period feel and to marvel at the level of mass culture back then compared to now. First number, a James P. Johnson original, "Keeping Out Of The Grass".

This is an original, "Cloud Fifteen" followed by James P. Johnson's "Carolina Shout". Just watch this man's complete mastery of the instrument and its nuances and his incredible time feel -- there are moments when Oscar Peterson, no less, comes to mind.

This is W. C. Handy's classic, "St. Louis Blues" preceded by a small Joe Turner interview in French, as Joe was already a French resident by then.

It's time for the Champ to sit in front of those 88 keys and deliver the goods on his own (and aptly named) "The Woman I Love Takes My Appetite".

Champion's own "Diggin' My Potatoes". Check out the zany effect those rings make hitting those ebonies.

"Chicken Baby", a great Champ blues number showing his Louisiana roots.

The Champ displaying his amazing boogie woogie credentials on the first ever boogie woogie hit, Pinteop Smith's "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie", what else?