Albert Ammons is rightly considered by many as the best boogie pianist of all time, certainly one of the most imaginative and dynamic. He was an excellent boogie pianist also playing other styles like highly effective stride. Without any doubt it was an advantage for him to be left-handed.
In the early 1940s Ammons healthy situation got tough. At first he came down with pneumonia. After an accident with a knife while fixing up a sandwich he had to cease performing for a while. A breakdown brought on by too much work and too much drinking followed. In spite of his bad healthy situation he continued touring with Pete Johnson across the country. It wasn't until 1944 that he returned to a recording studio once more. When this session for Commodore Records took place Al’s music had become more rhythmically complex (The Boogie Rocks, Albert’s Special Boogie, Bugle Boogie, Reveille Boogie, ...). Spectacularly records with Pete Johnson in duet succeeded in Hollywood (St. Louis Blues, Lady Be Good, Sheik Of Araby, ...) also in the same year.
At that time the relationship between Hattie Mae Young and Albert was complemented. It probably was in the mid 1930s when he met that attractive and young woman. Playing concerts, travelling long distances and long-term absences from home – Ammons began to slip away from his family. Hattie was free to be Albert’s company. Extremely jealous of anybody associated with Albert and very much in love with him she stepwise wove a cocoon around the two of them even crossing of the frontier of excluding family.
World War II and the boogie-woogie era were coincidental and when the war ended the boogie-woogie era seemed over. Ammons and Johnson never again played a duet at Café Society. Ammons resettled in his hometown in 1945. Recovering from about of excessive drinking, he started with his Rhythm Kings the famous Mercury recordings (Lady Be Good, Swanee River Boogie, Sheik Of Araby, Roses Of Picardy, …) – million sellers. At this time he brought his son Gene, who was becoming a local sensation and later grew up to a world famous jazz saxophonist, into the Rhythm Kings for the next Mercury sides St. Louis Blues, Shufflin’ The Boogie, Hiroshima and S.P. Blues.
with Elliot Paul
In January of 1949, Ammons and Elliot Paul – a noted intellectual author, a piano student of Ammons and his friend – were invited to play a piano duet when President Harry Truman was inaugurated in Washington D.C. Subsequently Ammons joined the Lionel Hampton Orchestra as staff pianist. Shortly after on December 2, 1949 the foremost boogie-woogie pianist died of cardiac insufficiency only 42 years of age
home sheet music
Boogie Woogie Stomp; Boogie Woogie Blues; Boogie Rocks; Suitcase Blues; Swanee River Boogie; Nagasaki; Albert Special Boogie; Chicago In Mind; Tuxedo Boogie; Pinetop Blues; Woo Woo; Bugle Boogie; Monday Struggle; Has Anyone Seen Corrine; Shout For Joy; Sweet Patootie Blues; Sweet Patootie Boogie; Boogie Woogie Man; Boogie Woogie Prayer; Sixth Avenue Express; Bass Goin' Crazy; Mecca Flat Blues; Backwater Blues; Mile-Or-Mo-Bird Rag; Easy Rider Blues; Jesse James; Jesse; Weary Land Blues; Port Of Harlem Blues; Rocking the Blues; Sheik Of Araby; Roses Of Picardy; Cafe Society Rag; Bedroom Blues; Buzz Me; Margie; Rhythm Boogie; Bear Den Boogie; Hiroshima; Twos And Fews; St. Louis Blues; Cuttin' The Boogie; Barrelhouse Boogie; Jammin' The Boogie; Bedroom Blues; Bottom Blues; The Breaks; Blues In The Groove; You Are My Sunshine; Pine Creek; Rock of Gibraltar; Oh Lady Be Good; Red Sails in the Sunset; Deep in the Heart of Texas Boogie; Twelfth Street Rag; Boogie Woogie Dream; Shufflin' The Boogie.