Jumpin' and Boppin'
Blues and boogie woogie pianist and vocalist, Kenny 'Blues Boss' Wayne has a new recording, his tenth album, and third for Stony Plain, "Jumpin' and Boppin'." It is certainly another album that will enthrall fans of jump blues in the vein of Amos Milburn, Little Willie Littlefield, early Ray Charles, Johnnie Johnson and Fats Domino. Duke Robillard is a special guest and spices up a number of tracks here. Others supporting Wayne here include Russell Jackson on bass, Charlie Jacobson on guitar, Joey Dimarco on drums, Sherman Doucette on harmonica, and Dave Babcock on saxophone.
With the exception of "You Don't Know Me," best known from Ray Charles rendition (which Wayne covers) the songs are Wayne originals. Highlights include the rollicking Amos Milburn flavored "Jumpin' & Boppin' With Joy," the Johnnie Johnson flavored wry "Ciao, Ciao Baby," the rollicking "Look Out! There's a Train Coming," with hints of Fats Domino and MIlburn, the Ray Charles flavored topical blues "Bankrupted Blues," the late night blues of "Back To Square One," and the hot rock and roll of "Rock, Rock Little Girl," where he shouts out if you don't known how to rock, you don't know how to roll.
The rhythm section is terrific throughout, Robillard is superb where featured and Babcock's saxophone playing is spot on where adding punchy honking on "Blues Stew," or ripping out supportive rifts. Along with choice, idiomatic original songs and Wayne's two-fisted piano and solid singing, this release (produced by Wayne himself) will have listeners "Jumpin' and Boppin'" with joy.
I received my review copy from a publicist. This review appeared in the July-August 2016 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 267). Here is the Blues Boss performing.