Laying It Down
Thirteen tracks of refreshing boisterous piano centric joy, full of authenticity, reinvention and firepower. That’s is an easy way to describe Laying It Down from piano man and two time international blues challenge finalist Arthur Migliazza, but what is happening here is so much deeper as it is evident Migliazza has spent a life time of study to become a master Blues, Boogie Woogie, Ragtime, Stride and Trad Jazz Pianist. The songs on his new album are presented in a straight forward clean environment, thanks to Floyd Reitsma at Studio Litho in Seattle, which allows the listener to sink into the depth of real acoustic piano; highlighted by the solo piano track “Suitcase Blues.’ Migliazza is joined by several stellar players who back him with precise support to keep that focus on his voices and his flying fingers. The tunes are a fine mixture of new compositions created to sound traditional and loving renditions of classic from piano icons. Some capture the feel straight on like the hopping Fats Domino tune ‘I’m Ready,’ to the toppsy turvey ‘Rockin Pneumonia & The Boogie Woogie Flu.’ Migliazza has the fearless audacity to tackle the big band staple ‘Sing Sing Sing,’ with only a trio; bringing the jungle drum boogie down to an intimate boiler room full of clever paraphrases. He takes us back to the source for a reading of W.C Handy’s St. Louis Blues that begins as a nocturne but quickly revs up into a swingin’ dance hall party anthem. “I hear music calling me,” is the opening line of the second line fueled tribute ‘Professor Calling Me,’ of course referencing New Orleans and Professor Longhair. Educating the world about this music on his beloved piano is clearly Arthur Migliazza’s mission.
Rick J Bowen