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Easy Street

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Album Review

During a 1991 tour of Australia, the great stride pianist Ralph Sutton teamed up with the talented cornetist Bob Barnard and drummer Len Barnard. There are a pair of duets apiece by Sutton with just one Barnard at a time and the pianist takes Fats Waller's "Handful of Keys" unaccompanied in addition to performing eight trio numbers. Sutton mixes together obscurities (such as J. Russell Robinson's "Mary Lou" and "June Night") and more familiar but superior numbers such as "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone," "Wolverine Blues" and "China Boy." Bob Barnard sounds in particularly inspired form, making this a delightful set that classic jazz fans will certainly enjoy.


Born: 04 November 1922 in Hamburg, MO

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '80s

Ralph Sutton was the greatest stride pianist to emerge since World War II, with his only close competitors being the late Dick Wellstood and the very versatile Dick Hyman. Nearly alone in his generation, Sutton kept alive the piano styles of Fats Waller and James P. Johnson, not as mere museum pieces but as devices for exciting improvisations. Although sticking within the boundaries of his predecessors, Sutton infused the music with his own personality; few could match his powerful left hand. Ralph...
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Easy Street, Ralph Sutton
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