Friday, January 13, 2006

Lou Rawls and the Les McCann Trio

Last Friday, as I slid onto my favorite bar stool at Ruth's Chris downtown, I mentioned to my dinner companion and also the piano player that Lou Rawls had died. The main bar piano man, Ken, at Ruth's is a font of jazz knowledge. He said his first taste of Lou Rawls had been an amazing album of him with the Les McCann trio. He graciously didn't recall the year, but encouraged us to seek this one out.

Well, plate o' shrimp as they say in my world. In Tuesday's WSJ, there's a great article on Lou Rawls' recordings including his first album - with the Les McCann Trio. The original is from 1962 on Capitol but was reissued on CD as "Stormy Monday" in 2000 by Blue Note. Look for "I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water" and "Willow Weep for Me," two standards that some say mark some of Rawls' earliest, best work.

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