Otis Spann is considered the greatest Chicago blues pianist ever, and although he had a short solo career, it’s his work as piano man for the Muddy Waters band between 1952 and 1969, and house pianist for Chess Records that made him a legend. Spann was just hitting his stride as a solo artist when he died of cancer in 1970. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980, and his aggressive piano style is still the template for blues piano players today.
Spann started playing piano when he was five, tutored by a neighbor named Friday Ford. Ford sat the young Spann on his knee and guided his hands over the keys. Spann’s stepfather was so impressed, he bought the boy a piano. At... Read More