James Booker Classified LP

James Booker

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Definitive Studio Album by The Piano Genius Of New Orleans On Vinyl LP!

TAS Rated 4/5 Music, 3.5/5 Sonics in the January 2021 Issue of The Absolute Sound!

A deeply complex character, Booker only released two studio albums in his lifetime. However, Classified - his unintended swan song - offers one of his greatest commercially-released performances. Recorded in 1982, it is primarily the result of a whirlwind, four-hour session. In addition to several originals, the album includes a jaunty repertoire of mainly local fare, including Fats Domino's "One for the Highway" and Lloyd Price's "Lawdy Miss Clawdy".

Some of the performances are rough, but all ooze authenticity. Booker performs solo piano and vocals on all but five tracks, which feature a rhythm section. The raucous arrangement of 'Baby Face' captures Booker's flamboyant performance style and could easily have been recorded at Tipitina's on a Saturday night. But Booker's genius for blending jazz, R&B, and classical forms is most evident on the solo piano cover of 'Madame X' and his elegant rendering of the standard 'Angel Eyes.' Craft has done an admirable job remixing and remastering this LP. Meanwhile, the label is sitting on a treasure trove of live Booker sessions (last reissued in 1993 by Rounder, now owned by Craft's parent company, the Concord Music Group). Let's hope Classified portends more quality Booker reissues.
-Greg Cahill, The Absolute Sound, January 2021, Music 4/5, Sonics 3.5/5


  • Vinyl LP
  • Remixed & remastered audio
  • Lacquer cut by Jeff Powell at Take Out Vinyl
  • Pressed at Memphis Record Pressing
  • Single pocket jacket
  • Made in USA


James Booker piano, vocals
Alvin "Red" Tyler tenor saxophone
James Singleton bass
John Vidacovich drums


Side A:

  1. All Around The World
  2. One For The Highway
  3. King Of The Road
  4. Professor Longhair Medley: Bald Head/Tipitina
  5. Baby Face
  6. Madame X

Side B:

  1. Classified
  2. Lawdy Miss Clawdy
  3. Angel Eyes
  4. Hound Dog
  5. If You're Lonely
  6. Three Keys

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