Little Brother Montgomery

Little Brother Montgomery was a sophisticated musician who played and sang a style that resembled jazz, based on piano blues. It was influenced by jazz’s finesse and harmonic complexity. Little Brother Montgomery, a pianist and a notable influence on Otis Spann and Sunnyland Slim, had a long career that spanned the early years of blues history as well as the vibrant Chicago scene in the 1950s. Montgomery, at the age of 11, had abandoned school to play in Louisiana juke joint. He arrived in Chicago in 1926. His first 78s were made in 1930 by Paramount. These 78s included two iconic Paramount recordings, “Vicksburg Blues” (recorded in Grafton, WI) and “No Special Rider”. Bluebird recorded Montgomery in New Orleans more often in 1935-1936. Little Brother Montgomery began a steady life in Chicago clubs in 1942. His repertoire alternated between blues and traditional Jazz (he performed Carnegie Hall in 1949 with Kid Ory’s Dixieland band). Otis Rush enjoyed his gentle accompaniment on many of his 1957-1958 Cobra dates. Buddy Guy also recruited him to perform similar duties in 1960 when he performed Montgomery’s “First Time I Met the Blues” for Chess. Montgomery recorded a great album with Lafayette Thomas, guitarist. It remains one of his best albums. Montgomery, along with Janet Floberg (his second wife), formed FM in 1969. The logo’s first 45 featured a reprise from “Vicksburg Blues” with a vocal performance by Jeanne Carroll, a Chicago chanteuse. Karen, her daughter, followed her lead around the Windy City. Allmsuic

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