Diving Duck composed by Otis Spann - Digital Sheet Music
At a Glance
Spann was the pianist in the legendary Muddy Waters Band and enjoyed a successful solo career in the 1960s. He profitably blended boogie-woogie bass figures with slow blues chord structures and was the ideal accompanist, unobtrusively supportive when necessary but capable of powerful solo breaks. Spann's smoky voice was also put to good use. Spann was mostly self-taught. He played piano in his minister father's church in Mississippi and performed the juke joint and house party circuit. After leaving the army in 1951, he settled in Chicago and began playing the city's blues clubs, joining the Muddy Waters band two years later and immediately becoming one of its linchpins. Spann recorded with the great Waters and also with Howlin' Wolf and Little Walter. His solo career took off in 1960 when he recorded "Otis Spann Is the Blues" accompanied by Robert Lockwood Jr, but he continued to perform and record with Waters, including an appearance at the 1960 Newport Jazz Festival. (The resulting live album, Muddy Waters at Newport, included "Goodbye Newport Blues" sung by Spann.) Spann's solo album was a success and he went on to make several other solo albums. With the Waters Band he recorded "The Blues of Otis Spann." He performed and toured extensively in the 1960s, including several visits to Europe. At the height of his career he was diagnosed with cancer and died soon after.
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