I think of the slow (or medium-slow) blues, too rarely performed these days, as homeopathic medicine for our own ills. If you listen to something serious and sad, pensive music with its own rhythmic momentum, a few clouds of your own might lift.
Here are two classic blues performances by a master of jazz improvisation with a steady lilt, someone who understands “sweet, soft, plenty rhythm” deeply — Butch Thompson.
I had the honor of meeting Butch for the first time last October at Duke Heitger’s inaugural Steamboat Stomp in New Orleans. Of course, like many others, I felt as if I’d known Butch for years through hearing his live performances and beautiful recordings — but the man in person was even more delightful: serious, light-hearted, and generous all at once. (A good unofficial guardian, and a fine man to share late-night red beans and rice with!)
WORKING MAN’S BLUES:
HOW LONG (BLOOSE):
And a bit of New Orleans laginappe — Butch says a few words about the amazing player and teacher Manuel Manetta, who later opened a teaching studio at his Algiers, Louisiana home and had a tremendous influence on generations of players:
May your happiness increase!