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Henry Butler - PiaNOLA Live PDF Print E-mail
Written by Edward F. Nesta   

Henry Butler-PiaNOLA LiveHenry Butler shows off his piano techniques of cross hand playing, funk bass, and more, on his first solo release entitled, PiaNOLA Live, which is a compilation of select live performances from over 20 years.  


Henry Bulter - PiaNOLA Live

Henry Butler - PiaNOLA Live                                                         

PiaNOLA Live: Basin St. Blues, Orleans Inspirations, Mother-in-Law, Dock of the Bay, Let ‘Em Roll, Somethin' You Got, Your Are My Sunshine, Tipitina, Will It Go ‘Round IN Circles, Old Man River, North American Idiosyncrasies  

Personnel: Henry Butler: Piano 

PiaNOLA Live was produced by Henry Butler and George Winston on the Basin Street Records label. PiaNOLA Live, the first solo release by Henry Butler, is a compilation of live performances dating from the mid 80s through 2007. Henry has a ‘thing' about recording his live performances, and it is from these precious recording that we have PiaNOLA Live. After you have given it a listen you will want to send a thank you note to Henry. New Orleans was his foundation, but the world has been his building block. Having grown up in New Orleans and like all proficient musicians he moved where the opportunities were while returning to New Orleans several times, but after Hurricane Katrina and the loss of his home, instruments, sheet music, and his New Orleans base, he has relocated to Colorado. Though physically apart from his foundation, he still delivers his signature Rhythm & Blues and Jazz style and always with a New Orleans flare.

Influenced by piano legends Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Professor Longhair, Thelonious Monk, and McCoy Tyner, Henry draws from these influences in spontaneous fashion during live performances, and the result is a unique and improvisational sound. Listening to just Henry and his piano is like finishing a beautiful evening off with a glass of fine cognac, it does not get any better than this.

The release opens with the jazz standard Basin Street Blues composed in 1928 and recorded live by Henry in the mid 80s; the harmonics are pure genius in his hands. The track Orleans Inspiration was written by Henry in 1978 and has become one of his signature songs. The track captures powerful elements of New Orleans, from the sweltering heat of summer time in the French Quarter, to the raw energy cast by the people and the music; so close you eyes and let the music transport you to Bourbon Street.

Drawing from his many influences, Henry performs the track Mother-in Law (Allan Toussaint, 1938) and uses his deep vocals to complement his bass lines. On his version of the famous Otis Redding song (Sittin' on) Dock Of The Bay, he opens with a beautiful improvisational intro that falls right into those great lyrics and melody. The track Let ‘Em Roll is another original from Henry where you can hear a melding of his many influences from boogie-woogie, jazz, blues, pop, and more.  The track Something You Got plays to the mischievous side of Henry as he is known to play this song different each time allowing for the energy of the audience and the moment to carry him.

Playing to his romantic side is the track You Are My Sunshine. He pays homage to his roots with the track Tipitina where he shows off of techniques of cross hand playing, percussion phrasing, and funk bass. The release closes out with a selection of inspirational, soulful, and funky tracks such as Will It Go ‘Round in Circles, Old Man River, and North American Idiosyncrasies.             

Websites where you can procure Henry Butler - PiaNOLA Live are Basin Street Records, CD Universe, MSN Music, Amazon, Rhapsody, and Tower Records.

© October 2008. Luxury Experience. All rights reserved.

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