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Butch Thompson Plays Jelly Roll Morton Piano Solos

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Album Review

For his recording debut, 24-year-old pianist Butch Thompson performs a dozen selections associated with Jelly Roll Morton, including a couple ("Tiger Rag" and Scott Joplin's "Original Rags") not actually composed by Morton but performed during his Library of Congress sessions. Thompson, who has long been considered one of the top interpreters of Morton's music, already had his technique and sound down at this early stage, and his solo recital (reissued on CD) is excellent. Highlights include "King Porter Stomp," "Tiger Rag," "Pep" and "The Crave."


Born: 28 November 1943 in Marine, MN

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the top pre-bop pianists to be active during the past 30 years, Butch Thompson's piano playing stretches from Jelly Roll Morton and James P. Johnson to swing; he is also an excellent (if occasional) New Orleans-style clarinetist. In 1962, he joined the Hall Brothers New Orleans Jazz Band in Minneapolis, an association that lasted over 20 years. Thompson has led his own trio since the mid-'60s, and during 1974-1986 he appeared regularly on Garrison Keillor's very popular...
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