Little Brother Montgomery Biography

Posted: June 18, 2012 in Boogie Woogie, Gerald E. Brennan, Little Brother Montgomery

Author: Gerald E. Brennan



“Little Brother Montgomery was one of the most versatile pianists to emerge from the blues. Although he never achieved the fame of musicians like Roosevelt Sykes, Sunnyland Slim, or Otis Spann all of whose playing was shaped early on by contact with Montgomery he was as comfortable playing New Orleans jazz or boogie-woogie as straight blues. His career in music stretched from the earliest years of recorded blues in the 1920s until the mid-1980s. But his playing, in particular his unaccompanied piano work, possesses timelessness, virtuosity, a serenity rare in any music. Little Brother Montgomery performances, right up until his death in 1985, were much more than mere blues shows. They transported the listener back to the New Orleans of the 1920s and made that old music sound as fresh as when it was first invented.”



  1. Had a long session with Little Brother when he was in the U.K. A charming man who repeatedly insisted that he didn’t care if he never played “Vicksburg Blues” ever again – wanted to be remembered as a “proper” pianist. I wasn’t going to argue with him, but for me it would always rank as a blues classic. An edited version of the interview was published in the magazine Jazz Journal. Sadly, the reel of tape containing the complete conversation was recycled.

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