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The Original James P. Johnson, 1942-1945: Piano Solos

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Album Review

The great stride pianist James P. Johnson is heard on 14 of the 16 selections included on this LP, taking memorable piano solos; two of the selections ("St. Louis Blues" and the first take of "Sweet Lorraine") are actually by an uncredited Cliff Jackson. Despite that error, the music is recommended because Johnson is in top form throughout, particularly on such numbers as "Daintiness Rag," "Snowy Morning Blues," "Liza" and "The Dream."


Born: February 01, 1894 in New Brunswick, NJ

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '10s, '20s, '30s, '40s

One of the great jazz pianists of all time, James P. Johnson was the king of stride pianists in the 1920s. He began working in New York clubs as early as 1913 and was quickly recognized as the pacesetter. In 1917, Johnson began making piano rolls. Duke Ellington learned from these (by slowing them down to half-speed), and a few years later, Johnson became Fats Waller's teacher and inspiration. During the '20s (starting in 1921), Johnson began to record, he was the nightly star at Harlem rent parties...
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