This is the 1958 masterwork album of Champion Jack Dupree's long and prolific career. Cut in New York with a blasting band that included saxist Pete Brown and guitarist Larry Dale, the Jerry Wexler-produced Atlantic collection provides eloquent testimony to Dupree's eternal place in the New Orleans blues and barrelhouse firmament.
There's some decidedly down-in-the-alley subject matter -- "Can't Kick the Habit," "T.B. Blues," a revival of "Junker's Blues" -- along with the stomping "Nasty Boogie" and treatments of the ancient themes "Stack-O-Lee" and "Frankie & Johnny." Bill Dahl/AMG
Review: Dennis Davis ,hi-fi+ November 2015 Recording: 7/10 Music 10/10
Champion Jack Dupree was a New Orleans bred boogie-woogie piano player. But boogie-woogie piano music has little or no collector value. The same cannot be said for Dupree Lps, which have always fetched healthy good prices in record bin and on ebay. While you can’t give away LPs from such accomplished boogie-woogie piano players such as Albert Ammons or Meade Lux Lewis, Dupree’s style of mixing boogie-woogie and the blues seems more modern and hip, attracting music lovers and record collectors alike.
While just about anything on Atlantic or Blue Horizon is worth searching out, the real goods are to be found on Dupree’s very first LP released in 1958 on Atlantic- Blues From The Gutter; the title says it all and the lyrics rarely stray from sex and drugs. Dupree’s delivery simply ooze rock and roll, and I’m not talking about music. If the proverbial fire struck and I had to choose five blues LPs to save, this would make the cut. The mono original has a deeper soundstage and more immediacy, which has been traded off for a wider stage with this stereo issue. That quibble aside, this is essential music that should not be missed.DD
Personnel: Champion Jack Dupree, piano & vocals / Pete Brown, alto saxophone / Ennis Lowery, guitar / Wendell Marshall, bass / Willie Jones, drums
Side 1: 1. Strollin’ 2. T. B. Blues 3. Can’t Kick The Habit 4. Evil Woman
5. Nasty Boogie
Side 2: 1. Junker’s Blues 2. Bad Blood 3. Goin’ Down Slow
4. Frankie & Johnny 5. Stack-o-lee
Re-mastering by: Ray Staff at Air Mastering, Lyndhurst Hall, London
Supervision: Jerry Wexler
Recording engineer: Tom Dowd