James Carroll Booker, a.k.a James Booker was an American pianist born in New Orleans in 1939. His music career was surprisingly expansive considering he spent much of his life battling with drug addiction and a rather large chunk of it serving prison sentences! His character was rich and his life laden with hardship, but his music was the one constant, his music was his salvation and in this world he was king!
Dr John once described Booker as the “the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced” and though he spent much of the 1950’s recording R&B, his musical explorations expended far beyond these realms! Genres such as pop, film soundtracks (he was responsible for the theme from The Godfather) and classical recreations (he also did renditions of Chopin Waltzes) were all part of his repertoire!
I dare say that I am merely skimming the very surface of the surface here when it comes outlining the fascinating and extraordinary life of James Booker, but I’ve just found an article that does a grand job of unearthing so much more – find that here.
Gonzo was backed with Cool Turkey and released as a 45 in 1960 on Peacock Records. It’s flute/keys combo serves up a dish of smooth and sharp textures, adding contrasting substance to this dish of funk! It’s easy on the ears and got a nice groove! Check it out above.