Laying It Down
Arthur Migliazza began playing his neighbor’s piano
as a young child, and was prodigious enough that his
parents got him piano lessons. A teacher introduced
him to jazz and blues and he began playing along
with old blues recordings. As a teenager, he met Ann Rabson at a music workshop in West Virginia and
Rabson became his mentor. He began moving toward the
boogie woogie style, and represented Arizona in the
IBC in 2010, making the finals that year and more
recently, representing Washington State.
Migliazza recently released a fantastic CD,
It Down (CD Baby), that will be absolute delight to
fans of boogie woogie piano. Employing some of the
Northwest’s finest musicians, Migliazza rips through
a dazzling set of nine covers and four original
tunes, putting his own personal spin on the genre
and pumping new life into an already lively style of
Migliazza takes on classic tunes from Albert Ammons
(“Boogie Woogie Shuffle” and “The Boogie Rocks”),
Meade Lux Lewis (“Honky Tonk Train Blues”), Hersal
Thomas (“Suitcase Blues”), and W.C. Handy (“St.
Louis Blues”). He also gives a nod to New Orleans
with several tunes, including Fats Domino’s “I’m
Ready,” Huey “Piano” Smith’s “Rockin’ Pneumonia &
the Boogie Woogie Flu,” Paul Barbarin’s “Bourbon
Street Parade,” Louis Prima’s “Sing Sing Sing”
(combined with the early 60’s hit, “Bumble Boogie”),
and a Professor Longhair tribute, “Professor Calling
Me,” that incorporates Fess’ “Tipitina” riff.
Migliazza’s own songs are equally top notch. The
opener, “Overture,” has elements of jazz, classical,
funk, and the Crescent City blended together, and
accented by Jeff Fielder’s wah-wah guitar. “Thank
You Blues” has a moody, after-hours vibe, and “Love
You Mama” is a Chicago-styled song of love and
appreciation to his mother.
Laying It Down is an amazing release. It’s
energetic, vibrant, joyful, and exuberant, just like
the music itself.