Fricke's Picks: Vintage Urban Pop


There was a time, in the first half of the 1900s, when boogie and blues pianists were as urban and commercial as Jay-Z, making black pop and party music about no money, mo' problems. Classic Piano Blues (Smithsonian Folkways) stars Meade "Lux" Lewis, Champion Jack Dupree, James P. Johnson, Sammy Price and other masters in later recordings, many for the Folkways label, when the music was treated more like vanishing folklore. But there is no shortage of rolling dynamite or hurtin' truths.

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David Fricke

Rolling Stone senior writer David Fricke has more than 10,000 albums in his New York apartment. His first record review for the magazine was Frank Zappa's 'Sheik Yerbouti' (RS 290).

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