“An immensely listenable and educative CD” par Blues & Rhythm

Piano blues has waned in prominence somewhat over the last couple of decades, as the originators and main protagonists of the style died off. At one time Europe was home to Memphis Slim, Champion Jack Dupree, Eddie Boyd, Curtis Jones, Candy Green, Little Willie Littlefield and others, and in Germany and Austria there has long been a tradition of local boogie-woogie piano players, with the best known representative internationally being Zxel Zwingenberger. Young Sébastien Troendlé was born in Saint-Louis (hmm, maybe that helped!) and was himself inspired by his fellow countryman, French jazz pianist Claude Bolling (who also recorded blues and boogie) and he has worked in many styles from reggae to classical, in addition to playing in his regular blues duo, Strings For Two. This set provides just what the title promises : old time solo piano ragtime numbers, some popular and cheesy such as Kitten On The Keys and Waiting For The Robert E.Lee, others like Jelly Roll Morton’s The Perfect Rag far more dazzling. Unlike some who tackle this kind of material though, Sébastien’s treatment is warm and human rather than the recreation of a player piano that can sometimes be the case. As far the boogie-woogie tracks are concerned, these are simply stunning (try his cover of Albert Ammons’ classic Boogie Woogie Stomp or Pete Johnson’s Death Ray Boogie) and our man closes out this immensely listenable and educative CD with a wonderful version of James P.Johnson’s Harlem Strut, Harlem stride piano at its finest.