Weened on the coarser piano styles of the brothels and speakeasies of his New Orleans youth, Jack Dupree's utilitarian approach to the piano always favored infectious grooves over technical virtuosity. He played blues, boogie-woogie, ragtime and R&B but it was his voice, humor and authenticity that set him apart from the legion of juke joint pianists. Originally issued on Atlantic in 1958, Dupree's masterful debut LP Blues from the Gutter was cut in NYC with a blasting band that included Pete Brown (alto saxophone), Ennis Lowery (guitar), Wendell Marshall (bass) and Willie Jones (drums). The Jerry Wexler-produced collection features such standouts as "Strollin," "Evil Woman" and "TB Blues" along with the stomping "Nastly Boogie" and fresh renditions of classics like "Stack-O-Lee" and "Frankie & Johnny." Dupree's influence on Fats Domino is instantly recognizable on "Junker's Blues" (Domino later reworked the tune for his first gold record "The Fat Man"). Whether it's Dupree's rolling piano, his heavy, almost smokey voice howling in anguish, or the steady beat of Jones on drums, every moving part works together seamlessly here.
Champion Jack Dupree (vocals, piano)
Pete Brown (alto saxophone)
Ennis Lowery (guitar)
Wendell Marshall (bass)
Willie Jones (drums)