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Jay McShann: Still Jumpin’ the Blues

Jay McShann, 83-years-young, is Still Jumpin’ the Blues (Stony Plain 1254; 64:28). Produced with a loving hand by Duke Robillard, this followup to their 1996 collaboration, Hootie’s Jumpin’ Blues, has a distinctly swinging Basie-esque feel to it. Backed by a crew of young turks with a real feel for Kansas City roots, McShann plays, sings and swings with ageless verve on evergreens like “Goin’ to Chicago,” “Moten Swing,” “Sunny Side of the Street” and “Trouble In Mind.” Singer Maria Muldaur guests on “Come On Over to My House” and “Backwater Blues.” For a bonus, there is an 18-minute interview with McShann conducted by co-producer Holger Petersen.

A younger McShann re-appears on a reissue of his 1978 Atlantic recording, The Last Of The Blue Devils (Koch 8525; 46:57). Aside from the pianist’s inimitable bluesy stylings and vocals, this album is distinguished by the regal company of Paul Quinichette and Buddy Tate on tenor saxophones, Milt Hinton on bass, Joe Newman on trumpet and a 25-year-old John Scofield on guitar. Includes great, relaxed renditions of “Confessin’ The Blues,” “Tain’t Nobody’s Bizness If I Do,” “Hootie Blues” and “Kansas City.”

Originally Published