When music aficionados speak of the New Orleans greats, there’s one man who tends to be sorely neglected. James Booker, who Dr. John referred to as “the best, black, gay, one-eyed, junkie pianist to ever come out of New Orleans” truly pushed his instrument to the limits of human endurance, combining classical, jazz and boogie like no one before or since. Perhaps due to his penchant for hard living and inclination to miss gigs or show up wasted and rambling, his shows could be wildly uneven. However, when he toured Europe in the mid to late ’70s, James found an audience he felt he connected with and who coaxed the very best he had to offer in concert.
This download combines highlights from two shows at Onkel Po’s Carnegie Hall in Hamburg, Germany from October 1976 and finds Booker in top form. Listen and marvel at what a talent this man was on the keyboard. Also recommended is the movie, Bayou Maharajah, a documentary on Booker available for streaming on Amazon. It’s well worth your time.
Click the link above or below to download this folder from Dropbox. Unzip > Import to iTunes > Enjoy!