James Booker was one of Americaís most stunning piano players. He was born, and died, in New Orleans, and in his 43 short years created an approach to the piano that has not been matched before or since. His music defies classification. Itís not exactly the blues, itís not exactly jazz, itís not R&B, itís not classical; itís a synthesis of all those. The Lost Paramount Tapes is one of the finest examples of this. In a rare alignment of some forces that could never possibly be replicated, this album features James Booker leading a band comprised of New Orleansí greatest underground monster musicians recording overnight in a studio after playing a gig. In Los Angeles. In 1973. And just to make this scenario even more bizarre, Booker is playing tack piano, which used metal tacks to strike the piano strings instead of the usual hammers. Imagine the sound of a piano in a honky tonk in the Wild West and youíll get a pretty close approximation. Then after recording what could and probably should go down in history as one of New Orleansí finest albums, Booker take the masters, disappears for a while, show up later in New Orleans minus both the master tapes and his right eye. Welcome to the wild world of James Booker.