Charles Avery made only one piano solo recording, Dearborn Street Breakdown, although he appeared on many other recordings as an accompanist. His Dearborn Street Breakdown remains a singular expression in piano blues as it demonstrates a style peculiar to Avery alone. The undulating accompaniment figure, taken at a fast tempo, is intoxicating.
Avery uses the same figure in the slower tempo House Rent Scuffle, sung by Lil Johnson. Avery’s plodding accompaniment in Freddie ‘Redd’ Nicholson’s Freddie’s Got the Blues is of a different sort altogether and suggests that Avery could have made further excellent piano solo recordings.
Dearborn Street Breakdown and Charles Avery’s accompaniment to Freddie’s Got the Blues can be found on Boogie and Barrelhouse Piano, Vol. 1 by Document Records.