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Ben Waters

Boogie 4 Stu – a Tribute to Ian Stewart

Review by Gary Hill

What an amazing set this is. For one thing, the music works its way between jazz and blues in fine fashion, covering varied territory along the way. Just looking at the list of musicians playing on various tracks, though, is even more inspiring. You’ve got the entire band of the Rolling Stones (all of them on one song and some of them on several more), Jools Holland, P.J. Harvey, just to name a few.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 3 at

Track by Track Review
Boogie Woogie Stomp

As one might guess from the title, this piano solo is a fast paced boogie woogie number that’s very tasty.

Rooming House Boogie
A bluesier number, there’s a lot more instrumentation on this with a full blues meets jazz treatment. It’s a killer tune with a great groove behind it. Where the opener was an instrumental, this one has some great vocals. There’s also some especially tasty saxophone wailing. At points I’m reminded of Chuck Berry on the vocals, at other points I think of Mick Jagger.
Worried Life Blues
Much more of a guitar blues tune, this is slow and very down home in nature. It’s a tasty tune that’s very old styled. There are jazzy elements here, but not nearly to the level of the previous tune.
Boogie For Stu
A killer walking bass line holds this down while piano solos like crazy over the top. This is a killer old school jazz jam. Other instruments take the point at certain spots in the piece, but really the bass and the piano dominate this.
Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor
A slower blues tune, this is very much in an old time, down home boogie woogie style. In turns more jazz oriented as horns dance across the arrangement later.
Midnight Blues
More traditional blues dominated blues is presented here, and this is another killer tune.
Lonely Avenue
There’s a huge change here as this feels like a late 1960s psychedelic rock take on the blues. It’s still pure blues, but presented in a tripped-out manner. This is a great change of pace and one of my favorites on the set.
Watchin' The River Flow
Merge B.B. King with the Rolling Stones (in their 1960s blues rock mode) and you’ll come pretty close to the sound of this killer tune. Of course, the fact that the entire band of the Rolling Stones guest here, goes a long way to explain that connection. It’s definitely another highlight of the set.
Roll 'Em Pete
Another piano dominated blues number, this feels a lot like B. B. King. It’s a high energy piece that sits amongst the highlights.
Suitcase Blues
An instrumental, this is a very traditional piano dominated blues number. It’s quite tasty.
Bring It On Home
Jazz and the blues collide with a B. B. King type of flair on this killer tune. It’s another standout jam on a disc that’s quite exceptional beginning to end.
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