Best of the Vanguard Years

by Otis Spann

(1999) Vanguard #79537-2

Personnel Otis Spann: Organ, Piano, Vocals
Description A compilation of some of Otis' best stuff from the late 60s, this may be the best album from the best blues pianist ever!
Posted By Jim Burger (4613)
Directory Recordings: Blues
Rate/Review This Resource
Overall Rating: 5.0 (of 5)
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Member Reviews

On 1/7/2000, Jim Burger (4613) posted:
Overall Rating:
In my opinion, Otis Spann is the greatest blues pianist ever. He was a mainstay of Muddy Waters' band, played with all of the blues giants, and made some fine recordings as a frontman, as well.

Of the albums put out under his name, this one is my favorite. It features tracks from 2 albums plus some previously unreleased tracks. Tracks 1-5 are absolutely stellar (although they feature no guitar whatsoever), with great blues piano and soulful singing from Otis -- "Burning Fire" and "Sometimes I Wonder" are some of the best blues vocals I've ever heard.

Tracks 6-15 are excellent for the most part, except for 2 Hammond Organ songs. I'm not a fan of the Hammond. The weakness of the album are tracks 16-18, which were probably previously unreleased for a reason.

But on the whole, this album has some of the best blues piano you'll find.