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Session 16 May 31 2012

James Booker in 1978

Born on December 17, 1939 in New Orleans, James Carroll Booker III – was a New Orleans styled rhythm and blues musician  Booker’s unique style combined rhythm and blues with jazz standards.
Booker was the son and grandson of Baptist ministers, both of whom played the piano. Although he  received a saxophone as a gift from his mother, he demonstrated a stronger interest in the keyboard. He first played organ in his father’s churches.
In his early adolescence, Booker attended the Xavier Academy Preparatory School. He became highly skilled in classical music and played Bach and Chopin, among other composers. He also mastered and memorized solos by Erroll Garner, and Liberace. His thorough background in piano literature may have enabled his original and virtuosic interpretations of jazz and other popular music. These performances combined elements of stride, blues, gospel and Latin piano styles
Booker made his recording debut in 1954 on the Imperial label, where he also engaged in some session work with Fats Domino, Smiley Lewis, and Lloyd Price.In 1958, Arthur Rubinstein gave a concert in New Orleans. and eighteen-year-old Booker was introduced to the concert pianist and played several tunes for him. Rubinstein was astonished, saying “I could never play that… never at that tempo.”
Booker also became known for his flamboyant personality amongst his peers.In 1960, Booker’s “Gonzo” reached number 43 on the U.S. Billboard chart, and number 3 on the R&B chart. This was followed by some moderately successful singles. It has been speculated that his song “Gonzo” was the inspiration for the use of the word gonzo to describe Hunter S. Thompson’s journalistic style.
Professor Longhair and Ray Charles were among his important influences. Booker’s performance at the 1975 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival earned him a recording contract with Island Records. During 1976, Booker played and toured with the Jerry Garcia Band.Booker recorded a number of albums while touring Europe in 1977, including New Orleans Piano Wizard: Live!, He played at the Nice and Montreux Jazz Festivals in 1978. Fourteen years later a recording in Leipzig from this tour would become the last record to be produced in the former East Germany. It was entitled Let’s Make A Better World!
Harry Connick Jr., a student and close friend of Booker, is probably his most renowned disciple. Connick, Henry Butler, and Dr. John, among others, have recorded songs with titles and musical styles referencing Booker.
His last commercial audio recording, Classified, was made in 1982 — in four hours according to the producer, Scott Billington. At the end of October, 1983, film-maker Jim Gabour captured Booker’s final concert performance staged at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans
Booker died ten days later, on November 8, 1983,
Source: Wikipedia

Session 16 May 31 2012

James Booker in 1978

Born on December 17, 1939 in New Orleans, James Carroll Booker III – was a New Orleans styled rhythm and blues musician  Booker’s unique style combined rhythm and blues with jazz standards.
Booker was the son and grandson of Baptist ministers, both of whom played the piano. Although he  received a saxophone as a gift from his mother, he demonstrated a stronger interest in the keyboard. He first played organ in his father’s churches.
In his early adolescence, Booker attended the Xavier Academy Preparatory School. He became highly skilled in classical music and played Bach and Chopin, among other composers. He also mastered and memorized solos by Erroll Garner, and Liberace. His thorough background in piano literature may have enabled his original and virtuosic interpretations of jazz and other popular music. These performances combined elements of stride, blues, gospel and Latin piano styles
Booker made his recording debut in 1954 on the Imperial label, where he also engaged in some session work with Fats Domino, Smiley Lewis, and Lloyd Price.In 1958, Arthur Rubinstein gave a concert in New Orleans. and eighteen-year-old Booker was introduced to the concert pianist and played several tunes for him. Rubinstein was astonished, saying “I could never play that… never at that tempo.”
Booker also became known for his flamboyant personality amongst his peers.In 1960, Booker’s “Gonzo” reached number 43 on the U.S. Billboard chart, and number 3 on the R&B chart. This was followed by some moderately successful singles. It has been speculated that his song “Gonzo” was the inspiration for the use of the word gonzo to describe Hunter S. Thompson’s journalistic style.
Professor Longhair and Ray Charles were among his important influences. Booker’s performance at the 1975 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival earned him a recording contract with Island Records. During 1976, Booker played and toured with the Jerry Garcia Band.Booker recorded a number of albums while touring Europe in 1977, including New Orleans Piano Wizard: Live!, He played at the Nice and Montreux Jazz Festivals in 1978. Fourteen years later a recording in Leipzig from this tour would become the last record to be produced in the former East Germany. It was entitled Let’s Make A Better World!
Harry Connick Jr., a student and close friend of Booker, is probably his most renowned disciple. Connick, Henry Butler, and Dr. John, among others, have recorded songs with titles and musical styles referencing Booker.
His last commercial audio recording, Classified, was made in 1982 — in four hours according to the producer, Scott Billington. At the end of October, 1983, film-maker Jim Gabour captured Booker’s final concert performance staged at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans
Booker died ten days later, on November 8, 1983,
Source: Wikipedia

Session 16 May 31 2012

James Booker in 1978

Born on December 17, 1939 in New Orleans, James Carroll Booker III – was a New Orleans styled rhythm and blues musician  Booker’s unique style combined rhythm and blues with jazz standards.
Booker was the son and grandson of Baptist ministers, both of whom played the piano. Although he  received a saxophone as a gift from his mother, he demonstrated a stronger interest in the keyboard. He first played organ in his father’s churches.
In his early adolescence, Booker attended the Xavier Academy Preparatory School. He became highly skilled in classical music and played Bach and Chopin, among other composers. He also mastered and memorized solos by Erroll Garner, and Liberace. His thorough background in piano literature may have enabled his original and virtuosic interpretations of jazz and other popular music. These performances combined elements of stride, blues, gospel and Latin piano styles
Booker made his recording debut in 1954 on the Imperial label, where he also engaged in some session work with Fats Domino, Smiley Lewis, and Lloyd Price.In 1958, Arthur Rubinstein gave a concert in New Orleans. and eighteen-year-old Booker was introduced to the concert pianist and played several tunes for him. Rubinstein was astonished, saying “I could never play that… never at that tempo.”
Booker also became known for his flamboyant personality amongst his peers.In 1960, Booker’s “Gonzo” reached number 43 on the U.S. Billboard chart, and number 3 on the R&B chart. This was followed by some moderately successful singles. It has been speculated that his song “Gonzo” was the inspiration for the use of the word gonzo to describe Hunter S. Thompson’s journalistic style.
Professor Longhair and Ray Charles were among his important influences. Booker’s performance at the 1975 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival earned him a recording contract with Island Records. During 1976, Booker played and toured with the Jerry Garcia Band.Booker recorded a number of albums while touring Europe in 1977, including New Orleans Piano Wizard: Live!, He played at the Nice and Montreux Jazz Festivals in 1978. Fourteen years later a recording in Leipzig from this tour would become the last record to be produced in the former East Germany. It was entitled Let’s Make A Better World!
Harry Connick Jr., a student and close friend of Booker, is probably his most renowned disciple. Connick, Henry Butler, and Dr. John, among others, have recorded songs with titles and musical styles referencing Booker.
His last commercial audio recording, Classified, was made in 1982 — in four hours according to the producer, Scott Billington. At the end of October, 1983, film-maker Jim Gabour captured Booker’s final concert performance staged at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans
Booker died ten days later, on November 8, 1983,
Source: Wikipedia

Session 16 May 31 2012

James Booker in 1978

Born on December 17, 1939 in New Orleans, James Carroll Booker III – was a New Orleans styled rhythm and blues musician  Booker’s unique style combined rhythm and blues with jazz standards.
Booker was the son and grandson of Baptist ministers, both of whom played the piano. Although he  received a saxophone as a gift from his mother, he demonstrated a stronger interest in the keyboard. He first played organ in his father’s churches.
In his early adolescence, Booker attended the Xavier Academy Preparatory School. He became highly skilled in classical music and played Bach and Chopin, among other composers. He also mastered and memorized solos by Erroll Garner, and Liberace. His thorough background in piano literature may have enabled his original and virtuosic interpretations of jazz and other popular music. These performances combined elements of stride, blues, gospel and Latin piano styles
Booker made his recording debut in 1954 on the Imperial label, where he also engaged in some session work with Fats Domino, Smiley Lewis, and Lloyd Price.In 1958, Arthur Rubinstein gave a concert in New Orleans. and eighteen-year-old Booker was introduced to the concert pianist and played several tunes for him. Rubinstein was astonished, saying “I could never play that… never at that tempo.”
Booker also became known for his flamboyant personality amongst his peers.In 1960, Booker’s “Gonzo” reached number 43 on the U.S. Billboard chart, and number 3 on the R&B chart. This was followed by some moderately successful singles. It has been speculated that his song “Gonzo” was the inspiration for the use of the word gonzo to describe Hunter S. Thompson’s journalistic style.
Professor Longhair and Ray Charles were among his important influences. Booker’s performance at the 1975 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival earned him a recording contract with Island Records. During 1976, Booker played and toured with the Jerry Garcia Band.Booker recorded a number of albums while touring Europe in 1977, including New Orleans Piano Wizard: Live!, He played at the Nice and Montreux Jazz Festivals in 1978. Fourteen years later a recording in Leipzig from this tour would become the last record to be produced in the former East Germany. It was entitled Let’s Make A Better World!
Harry Connick Jr., a student and close friend of Booker, is probably his most renowned disciple. Connick, Henry Butler, and Dr. John, among others, have recorded songs with titles and musical styles referencing Booker.
His last commercial audio recording, Classified, was made in 1982 — in four hours according to the producer, Scott Billington. At the end of October, 1983, film-maker Jim Gabour captured Booker’s final concert performance staged at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans
Booker died ten days later, on November 8, 1983,
Source: Wikipedia

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