Do Drop In
Alfred Johnson | boston, ma | 07/28/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Here is a little quiz. Ask someone from the Generation of '68 (forget anyone younger) if they know who the legendary rhythm and blues pianist Ivory Joe Hunter was. Probably, no response. Then ask whether they remember the song Since I Met You Baby. They will start singing out the verses for you from a time of young love, class proms or school dances. Yes, that is Ivory Joe Hunter. While he never was at the top of my list of rhythm and blues artists who played piano he nevertheless was one of those instrumental artists who, kind of behind the scenes, influenced a whole generation of musicians to play and sing in that very sweet sing song way. This, in fact, was the key to white kids like me in the 1950's getting hip to black music. Nobody, at least who I knew, started with a dose of Ike Turner doing Rocket 88 to beat the band. Or Elmore James stomping on that slide guitar doing Dust My Broom. Or even Big Joe Turner jumping on Shake, Rattle and Roll. We all learned about that `black' thing from Ivory Joe then moved to the big boys (and girls).
As far as the work in this album goes, obviously Since I Met You Baby is tops. However, overall despite the importance of Ivory Joe to the roots of rhythm and blues and to our young love lives there are, frankly, other artists like those mentiones above I would run out and buy first now that I know what's what with this kind of music.