180g Vinyl LP!
Remastered by Bernie Grundman from Original Master Tapes!
Perhaps best known for his long association with the legendary Muddy Waters, Otis Spann is largely recognized as one of the greatest blues pianists of all time. First making a name for himself in Chicago during the 1940s, Spann's career kept him active up until his untimely death in 1970. Along with Muddy Waters, Spann worked with such luminaries as Howlin' Wolf, Bo Diddley, BB King, Eric Clapton, James Cotton, Buddy Guy and Big Momma Thornton.
Although Spann made a name for himself in Chicago by the mid 1940s, it wasn't until 1960 that he got the opportunity to record an album of his own. Otis Spann Is the Blues is not only the first solo album ever recorded by Otis Spann, it is also the first album ever recorded for the fledgling New York City based Candid Records label.
Produced by Candid co-founder, famed music critic and social activist Nat Hentoff, the album captures not one, but two legends at the peak of their powers – Otis Spann and Robert Lockwood. Jr. Lockwood, Muddy Waters' guitar player, was an obvious choice to accompany Spann at these sessions in August of 1960. It's worth noting that Lockwood had been a longtime collaborator of Sonny Boy Williamson, and was the stepson and only student of then virtually unknown blues musician Robert Johnson. (Columbia Records would release Robert Johnson King of the Delta Blues Singers the following year and change the course of music history forever.)
Stripped down to just the two musicians, this magnificently performed and produced set showcases Spann's voice as well as piano. With only Lockwood's guitar behind him, Spann stretches out with his pulsing two-handed rhythmic attack, and brings the barrelhouse piano style of his youth in line with the modern Chicago style he embodied. These sessions also produced additional material that ended up on Candid's Otis Spann album, Walkin' the Blues, released posthumously in 1972.The LP includes extraordinary liner notes written by Hentoff himself, giving a context and insight that adds to the experience of hearing these magnificent performances.