James Booker - Behind The Iron Curtain - 5CD
Unreleased holy-grail-recordings by James Booker, the tragic Piano Genius from New Orleans / Three full solo concerts on five CDs, more than five hours of music in pristine audio quality.
A major new discovery for all fans of New Orleans music and R&B piano / Includes 60-page book containing many unreleased photos and extensive liner notes with lots of new research about Booker's European tours / Exclusive foreword is written by Cyril Neville. From Jelly Roll Morton to Jon Batiste, the city of New Orleans has produced more great piano players than any other place on earth. But James Carroll Booker III may very well have been the greatest of them all. When he died in 1983 at the age of 43 after years of health problems and drug abuse, only four Booker albums had been released, and his fans have been searching for additional recordings that showcase his genius ever since.
With its comprehensive new release 'Behind The Iron Curtain plus,' RICHARD WEIZE ARCHIVES intends to tell, for the very first time, the full story of James Booker's European adventures.
It includes three complete Booker shows on 5 CDs: East Berlin (December 1976), Lausanne (January 1977) and Leipzig (October 1977). Interestingly, at that time East Berlin and Leipzig were part of socialist East Germany, a country that no longer exists, and how Booker got there and why he played some of the best shows of his career behind the Iron Curtain, of all places, is a whole story unto itself. James Booker was a virtuoso technician who combined influences as diverse as Ludwig van Beethoven and Ray Charles, Erroll Garner and Fats Domino, Frédéric Chopin and Professor Longhair into a unique style of New Orleans R&B piano that hasn't been duplicated to this day. No other posthumous Booker release has done full justice to his genius and we hope that 'Behind The Iron Curtain plus...' will lead to a new appraisal of one of American music's most gifted and overlooked originals.