How Long Blues – Jimmy Yancey

Over the past weeks I’ve been posting tracks by the legendary pianist Jimmy Yancey. They seem to have proved quite popular, so here’s another one. This differs from the others (which were in the boogie-woogie style) in being a slow blues rather than an up-tempo boogie-woogie romp. It’s quite an old song, dating back to 1928, of which many versions have been made over the years, but this is an atmospheric masterpiece that shows what a superb interpreter of the blues Jimmy Yancey was. That gently rocking left hand and the beautiful articulation of the right hand seem to underline the sense of loss conveyed in the lyrics to the song, which is about a man whose lover who has left him:

Heard the whistle blowin’, couldn’t see no train
Way down in my heart, I had an achin’ pain
How long, how long, baby how long

You won’t hear many better – or more haunting – performances the blues than this. And who cares if there’s a bit of surface noise on the record?

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2 Responses to “How Long Blues – Jimmy Yancey”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    Great playing, but I kept wondering when he was going to sing…

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