John’s Blues Picks Nov 2015 – Michael Kaeshammer
Michael Kaeshammer The Pianist (eOne) | www.michaelkaeshammer.com
After a long string of albums that attempted to transform him into a middle of the road crooner, Michael Kaeshammer has had enough and has put out an album that features him doing what he does best, play blues piano. The songs are in a kind of suite, with Big Maceo’s effortlessly performed knucklebuster “Chicago Breakdown” leading off. Kaeshammer’s own “Lands End Parade” starts off more slowly with hints of “St. James Infirmary” before the tempo picks up a little, staying in a New Orleans mode however. “Stomp” is firmly there with Professor Longhair & James Booker not far from mind. Johnny Mercer’s “Autumn Leaves” shows a quieter side, with some lovely variations. “Janice” is a very attractive slow blues, with some beautiful playing. “Suitcase Blues” is credited here to boogie meister Albert Ammons – a highlight. “Cadenza” is an R&B workout that cleverly seems on the verge of quoting famous tunes but doesn’t quite get to them. The short but tender “Lullaby” concludes a disc that’s over far too quickly. He might possibly have added the lone(ly) piano features from some of those earlier discs, but I guess you’ll have to back & listen to them separately. The piano playing is masterful, the piano lovingly recorded. He’s currently on a lengthy tour of China and you can keep up with him at www.michaelkaeshammer.com.