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A Pair of Kings

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Anyone who loves traditional jazz piano will recognize the names Ralph Sutton and Johnny Varro. Their careers have been on roughly parallel paths since the 1950s, when each had a turn as intermission pianist at Eddie Condon's Greenwich Village club. On this delightful album the two are paired in an unusual combination: two pianos with bass (Phil Flanagan) and drums (Ed Metz, Jr.). It's a potentially awkward arrangement, but they swing together beautifully, sometimes alternating solos and sometimes improvising together in a style reminiscent of the earliest days of New Orleans jazz. The program is strictly potboiler standards: "Oh, Lady, Be Good!," "Tea for Two," a Fats Waller medley, a Duke Ellington ballad. The liner notes, helpfully, diagram the solos on each track so that you can tell who's playing on which chorus. There's nothing here to change the world of jazz piano, but great music doesn't always have to be groundbreaking. Just relax and enjoy.


Geboren: 11. Januar 1930 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Jazz

Jahre aktiv: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the top swing-oriented pianists since the 1950s, Johnny Varro has long been a fixture in the trad jazz circuit even if the greater jazz world does not seem to know that he exists. He considers his influences to be Jess Stacy, Teddy Wilson, and Eddie Miller, as well as the jazz performances he witnessed as a child put on by Jack Crystal. Learning the piano while following Crystal and his friends, Varro's first professional job was with Bobby Hackett for a tour of the East Coast in 1953. In...
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A Pair of Kings, Johnny Varro
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