Wednesday, September 4, 2013

"Blues Piano Perfection"

The Cascade Blues Association's review of East Meets Vest:
David Vest continues to carry on the tradition of boogie piano with style and flair that has few equals. Born and raised in Alabama, he learned and played with the absolute best of Gulf Coast and Southern musicians, including the likes of Big Joe Turner, Floyd Dixon, Lavelle White and Jimmy "T-99" Nelson. Later on he spent time in Portland working with the Paul deLay Band and eventually made the move across the border into Canada where he is turning even more heads with his craft, including receiving a Maple Blues Award.
This past February [2012], Vest found himself in Toronto on Mardi Gras Day working with some of the finest blues artists in Canada. Guitarist Teddy Leonard from Fathead and the Downchild Blues Band's rhythm section of Gary Kendall on bass and Mike Fitzpatrick on drums is a mighty force to have at your disposal. (If you are unfamiliar with these bands, make a point to check out their outstanding material.) Vest runs them through an impressive selection of originals and a working history of piano blues. 
Vest offers songs from his mentors. Two from Big Joe Turner and another by T-99 Nelson, not to mention his own reworking of Nelson's classic "Meet Me With Your Black Dress On," which he simply titles "Black Dress." That last number has become a signature song of Vest's in itself with its bouncy rolling riff that makes you want to dance. There are also a handful of numbers from W.C. Handy, Memphis Slim's "Wish Me Well" and a beautiful take on Avery Parish's "After Hours" that closes the disc.
The piano playing is fresh and exceptionally crisp on this recording. I cannot get over how brilliantly the sound of Vest on the keys comes across on the song "Come Clean With Me." It gives the feeling that I'm sitting right next to him as he plays. It is just one stellar song on an album that breathes blues piano perfection.
David Vest has been caressing those keys since the 1950s. He has made plenty of sensational recordings over time, but this one is a master work. It must be heard. Though there are many people today offering piano boogie blues, nobody does it with the authenticity and smooth delivery of David Vest. Outstanding!  
 -- Greg Johnson

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