American Showplace Music
Bruce Katz studied jazz piano and Hammond organ at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. His first professional gig was playing bass guitar for Big Mama Thornton. Katz recorded his debut album in 1992. Since then he has appeared on over seventy albums as he is known to be able to coax soulful tones out of his keyboards. He appears on five albums by soul blues singer Mighty Sam McClain. In 1992 Katz joined Ronnie Earl and The Broadcasters and he appears on five of their albums. He first formed the Bruce Katz Band in 1997. While maintaining his own touring schedule Katz was also a regular member of Gregg Allman and Friends from 2007 to 2013; played with Delbert McClinton from 2011 until 2014; and was a member of Butch Trucks and The Freight Train Band.
In 2014 Katz signed with American Showplace Music. This is his fourth album for American Showplace and tenth studio recording overall. Katz is a seven times Blues Music Award nominee having been nominated five times as The Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of The Year. He received two more nominations this year and took home a BMA for Acoustic Album of The Year. This is Katz’ first ever solo acoustic piano album. The album is produced by Katz and Ben Elliot of American Showplace who recorded, mixed and mastered the album. The album is co-produced by Katz’ manager and agent Legare Robertson.
Katz has written eleven of the twelve compositions. On full display is his virtuosic playing showing his range from blues to jazz and beyond. Elliot adds “After years of working with the top names here’s Bruce Katz combining his vast knowledge of the legendary piano blues masters with his unique sensibility and styling. No one else brings this kind of passion to their piano playing.”
Katz opens with “Down At The Barrelhouse” showcasing his barrelhouse boogie-woogie piano style as few can do. The New Orleans flavored “Crescent Crawl” invokes memories of Dr. John and Allen Toussaint as Katz reprises the title track from his 1992 debut. The only other original reprised from earlier in Katz’ career is “Praise House” inspired by the Blind Boys of Alabama as its gospel-jazz sound evokes a Sunday morning hymn. The only cover is the fabulous version of “It Hurts Me Too” written by Hudson Whittaker a.k.a. Tampa Red and first recorded in 1940.
“Red Sneakers” is a joyful tune styled like a Scott Joplin rag. “Dreams of Yesterday” is a Floyd Cramer styled country music waltz. Six more originals showcase Katz’ talents as he improvizes on American Roots and Blues.
This album should bring Katz’ that elusive award for Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year. It is that good.