In 2010, Mississippi boogie woogie piano player Eden Brent released “Ain’t No Troubles,” an album recorded in New Orleans with a band of New Orleans musicians.
“The last time I was at Jazz Fest, I was sitting where you’re sitting,” she said Friday while making her debut in the Blues Tent at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. This time, she has a new band and new album, “Jigsaw Heart,” which is due out Tuesday.
Brent’s a brassy figure at the piano, shaking her head and swinging her hip-length hair while pounding out essentially melodic solos with her right hand. Her voice reflected a similar attitude, but the slower “Better That Way” said that she isn’t only a tough gal and could make a vulnerable song felt.
The set took a few singer/songwriterly turns, but more often it stayed clearly in the southern blues tradition. Brent got the audience up and dancing with “Everybody Already Knows,” a song from “Jealous Heart,” and elsewhere she played with a gospel fervor.
Brent’s rhythm section added little that was obvious, but the piano covers the sound spectrum, so all that was really asked of them was that they support her as unobtrusively as possible. They let Brent’s personality and piano carry the day.