Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Pete Johnson

  • King of Boogie [Milan, 1992] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

King of Boogie [Milan, 1992]
The hero of Big Joe Turner's "Roll 'Em Pete" was third man on a boogie-woogie totem pole topped by Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis. All three formed duos; occasionally they even ganged up into a trio I'd love to hear. But on the basis of the records I know I'll just note that the hierarchy was designed for jazzbos. Especially on this mostly solo Hot Club of Paris session, but also on Delmark's small-combo Central Avenue Boogie, Johnson is the barrelhouse piano player of rock and roll dreams--he plays more fast ones and flexes more right-hand muscle. So I prefer him straight up--sidemen just get in his way. A-