Bob Hall & George Green - Jammin' The Boogie

Rocket 88 - 3.27
I'm In A World Of Trouble - 5.33
Barrel House Boogie - 2.48
Foo Woo - 4.51
Great Western Boogie - 3.41
Shufflin' The Boogie - 3.49
Swanee River Boogie - 4.36
Why I'm Leaving You - 5.30
Too Late For That Now - 3.06
Jammin' The Boogie - 4.45

Pianists Bob Hall and George Green joined forces in the mid-1970s, adding a rhythm section and horns and making several boogie woogie records between 1977 and 1981 before Hall’s illness caused the band to break up in 1982. The two men played duo pianos, with Ian Stewart spelling one of them on occasion, plus bass guitarist Nick Dean, drummer Charlie Watts (when not touring with The Rolling Stones) plus trombonist John Picard, tenor saxophonist Al Gray and trumpeter Colin Smith. Black Lion likely gave the group its name The Bob Hall/George Green Boogie Boogie Band, though the name changed to Rocket 88 during its final year. The band’s successful debut recording at Swindon Arts Centre on June 12, 1977 (the source of Jammin’ the Boogie) led to further appearances there, though the personnel would change over the next few years.

Beginning with boogie woogie great Pete Johnson’s “Rocket 88,” Hall and Green provide a spirited backing for the horn soloists. Hall is the vocalist in Joe Turner’s “I’m in a World of Trouble,” which is dominated by the pianists’ bluesy tremolo. Colin Smith penned the breezy “Foo Woo,” which features his sassy muted trumpet fueled by the rhythm section. Johnson and his frequent piano partner Albert Ammons wrote and recorded the train-like “Barrel House Boogie” in 1941; Hall and Green add the rhythm section for their snappy rendition. The piano duo aren’t the first to give Stephen Foster’s “Swanee River” a boogie woogie arrangement (Pete Johnson preceded them by several decades), but their light-hearted, inventive setting gives new life to the nineteenth century American folk song. “Shufflin’ the Boogie” and “Jammin’ the Boogie” were both written by the somewhat obscure Hattie Young, whose songs were recorded by both Albert and Gene Ammons. Both pieces feature the full sextet.

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