Henry Brown is a good example of a pianist whose style changed with the times. When he first recorded in 1929 his style ranged from barrelhouse, in Deep Morgan Blues, to a more urban sound, in Henry Brown Blues. Henry Brown blues is unusual for having a four-to-the-bar walking bass (or perhaps wandering bass) in mostly single notes. Unlike some other pieces of the time with accompaniments that are four-to-the-bar, like Walter Roland’s Piano Stomp and Turner Parrish’s Trenches, Henry Brown Blues is not very fast.
This type of bass figure returned in Brown’s later recordings, made during the blues revival. By that time his style had shifted away from barrelhouse and more toward boogie woogie and jazz. Some of the harmonies in Henry Brown Blues hinted at jazz but in the later recordings that tendency was fleshed out. Brown’s late recordings also feature a rambling sort of talking over the playing that continues on and seems to get faster and more incoherent the further it gets along.
Henry Brown’s classic recordings can be found on St. Louis Barrelhouse Piano from Document Records.
Some of his later recordings are on Henry Brown Blues from Southland Records.