Michael Alf Trio’s Viral Boogie Woogie Stomps The Blues Away

Are you ready to Boogie Woogie? Soon your foot is going to start tapping. Before you know it, you might be jumping up to cut the rug. You have been warned! Modern Boogie Woogie, an infectious blues-based dance music, emerged in the 1920s, though it took Pinetop Smith's 1929 hit Pinetop's Boogie Woogie to make Boogie Woogie the name of a style.

The turning point for Boogie Woogie was the Carnegie Hall concert From Spirituals to Swing (1938), which brought the lively, upbeat style to broader public attention. One of the performers on the show was Albert Ammons, who's influencial12-bar piano-based "Boogie Woogie Stomp" is performed by the Michael Alf Trio in the clip below. Careful now!

The Boogie Woogie era lasted until the late 1950s, when it was incorporated into Rock and Roll. It's influence can be heard in the playing of Louis Jordan, Fats Domino, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis as well as later pianists like Professor Longhair and Dr John. Boogie Woogie can also be heard in jazz, blues and country music. Country, examples include Charlie Daniels Band (Boogie Woogie Fiddle Country Blues), Brooks & Dunn (Boot Scootin' Boogie) and Merle Travis (Merle's Boogie Woogie).

Back in December 1938, Alfred Lion was in the audience of From Spirituals to Swing. Two weeks later he founded the famous Blue Note record label when he hired a studio for a one-day recording session for two of the pianists from the concert, Meade Lux Lewis and Albert Ammons. Ammons cut nine solos including Boogie Woogie Stomp. Ammons went on to provide the boogie for Norman McLaren's seminal hand-painted short animation Boogie Doodle (1940), where the doodles are timed to Ammons's playing.

Albert Ammons appeared as himself in the film Boogie-Woogie Dream (1944) and, in 1949, he performed at the inauguration of President Harry S. Truman.

What of Michael Alf who's version of Boogie Woogie Stomp has nearly six million YouTube views? Alf is a 57-year-old pianist from Starnberg, Germany. He has released three albums (ChooChooBoogie, Spring Sessions, Piano Colors) and he has earned a reputation as a blues, boogie woogie and jazz pianist. The viral video of Boogie Woogie Stomp was filmed during a live show at Mülheimer Jazzclub, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany, in February 2012. Alf was accompanied by Karsten Gnettner on bass and Thomas Gugger on drums.

What are you waiting for? It's time to give Michael Alf Trio's Boogie Woogie Stomp another play. If you want to learn more about this brilliant trio, you can visit their official website.

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