|Erwin Helfer follows up his 2003 W.C. Handy nominated solo recording I'm Not Hungry But I Like To Eat - Blues! with a trio on Careless Love, a diverse collection of blues, boogie, and jazz piano. Helfer has been an integral part of blues piano history for the past fifty years, and he is the last living link to the Yancey's legacy of Chicago blues and boogie piano. On this disc Erwin plays Mama Yancey's signature piece "Make Me A Pallet On The Floor"; an original composition "Paris But I Don't Know Why" which sounds like a classical etude, but also has a spunky barrelhouse flavor; jazz standards like "Sunny Side of the Street" and "All of Me" which jump off the keys; and the calypso-tinged "Jambalaya".
Erwin has been an integral part of blues piano history for the past fifty years. As a teenager, he broke racial barriers, socializing and playing with Billie and DeDe Pierce, leaders of the first Dixieland jazz band at Preservation Hall in New Orleans. He "rediscovered" Cripple Clarence Lofton (famous for recording "The Fives"), and brought his music to the attention of others. In 1956, he made the only recordings of house rent party pianist Doug Suggs and also recorded Speckled Red, Billie Pierce, and James Robinson (on the LP entitled Primitive Piano for his Tone Records and subsequently reissued by The Sirens Records SR-5005). In the 1970's and 1980's Erwin toured and played with Chicago blues musicians, such as drummer S.P. Leary (who recorded with blues pioneers on Chess Records), and the great vocalist Estelle "Mama" Yancey (wife of the "Father of Chicago Blues Piano" Jimmy "Papa" Yancey).