Boogie-woogie in action - that's Maurice Rocco as well as the essence of his Rockin' rhythm. One of the sensations of the entertainment world, this pianist was not content to remain seated while beating it out, but stood up, indulging in gyrations probably never before seen at a piano. His eight-to-the bar rhythms are underscored by a hop, skip and jump piano technique that is both a physical and musical demonstration of the art of boogie-woogie.
Rocco's bombastic brand of entertainment would ordinarily tend to overshadow his remarkable flair for composition were it not for a very sound musical background and training. His mother was a piano teacher and guided his musical studies until he was ready to enter the music school of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he was to pursue a career as a concert pianist. However, a penchant for "beating out the boogie" with Bach, Brahms and Beethoven landed him in difficulties with the school authorities and, in a very short time he was finding a more practical outlet for his musical leanings on local radio stations in and around Cincinnati.
Rocco's work came to the attention of the legendary Noble Sissle and his appearances with this outfit served as a springboard for film spots in two of Walter Wanger's productions, "Vogues of 1938" and "52nd Street". In each, he portrayed a night club pianist. Later on, he formed his own band - Maurice Rocco and his Rockin' Rhythm Boys - and there followed a series of prominent bookings in New York and Chicago night clubs, theatres and radio stations.
A master of harmony, point and counterpoint, he has won added fame as a soloist at New York's Le Ruban Bleu and Cafe Zanzibar. All of the Rocco originals included in this album have been accorded enthusiastic receptions by audiences everywhere. To the serious student they are recognized as important steps in the development of new musical forms that are distinctly American.