Among his many blues songs and accompaniments for others’ songs, Walter Roland made only two piano solos, Piano Stomp and Jookit Jookit. Like many instrumentals of the time, both of these solos are accompanied by shouted “encouragements”. Encouragements were usually spoken by a second person, although it could be done by the pianist, such as in recordings by Piano Red. We are fortunate in this case that shouts of encouragement are not overly frequent in this case and do not clutter the listening experience. Jookit Jookit is Roland’s version of Pine Top’s Boogie Woogie. What is most distinctive about Roland’s rendition is that in place of the two-handed tremolo figure at the beginning and at the breaks, he uses rapidly-pounded chords. Roland had probably the fastest pounded-chord technique among the blues players and used them frequently in his playing.
Piano Stomp is another type of piece entirely and features a four-to-the-bar stomping bass and more rural sound. The four-to-the-bar bass enables a particularly fast tempo. Although certainly a blues, Piano Stomp has a ragtime feel to it, similar in sound to Brun Campbell’s Tent Show Rag. Another feature is that the typically 12-bar blues formula is given an unusually varied treatment with the choruses being, in order, 13, 10, 14 ½, 11 ½, 10, 12, 12, 11 ½, 14 ½, 9 ½, 12, and 12 bars in length.
Both of Walter Roland’s piano solos along with some of his songs and accompaniments can be found on Walter Roland Vol. 1.