Certainly one of the most flamboyant New Orleans pianists in recent memory, James Carroll Booker III was a major influence on the local rhythm & blues scene in the ’50s and ’60s. Booker’s training included classical instruction until age 12, by which time he had already begun to gain recognition as a blues and gospel organist on radio station WMRY every Sunday. By the time he was out of high school he had recorded on several occasions, including his own first release, “Doing the Hambone,” in 1953. In 1960, he made the national charts with “Gonzo,” an organ instrumental, and over the course of the next two decades played and recorded with artists as varied as Lloyd Price, Aretha Franklin, Ringo Starr, the Doobie Brothers, and B.B. King. [AMG]
To be honest, I don’t dig his better known later stuff, but this collection of his early 60’s instro tunes is kinda pretty cool. If you dig Booker T. & MG.s organ instros or early James Brown R&B, then this is for you. Funky Vinyl Rip by Surfadelic. Dig!