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Featuring Bob Wilber Vol. 4

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Album Review

It is fortunate for fans of jazz piano that stride master Ralph Sutton was recorded frequently during his tenure as the house pianist in his wife's Aspen, CO, restaurant during the late '60s; this fourth volume consists of excerpts from four consecutive evenings taped in February 1969 with Bob Wilber (clarinet and soprano sax), bassist Al Hall, and drummer Cliff Leeman (who sticks to brushes) joining the leader. Sutton is at the top of his game during the wild romp through "I Want to Be Happy," stimulating Wilber's swinging clarinet. "Old Folks" sounds especially bittersweet with Wilber's mournful soprano sax and Sutton's thoughtful accompaniment behind him. Their interpretation of James P. Johnson's memorable ballad "Old Fashioned Love" (with Wilber still on soprano sax) restores the often omitted verse. The sound is excellent throughout the CD; although the audience members are clearly enjoying the music, their reactions are fortunately reserved until each piece is completed. Anyone who enjoys Ralph Sutton will consider this release an essential purchase.


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...
Full bio
Featuring Bob Wilber Vol. 4, Ralph Sutton
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 20 August 2002

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