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Ralph Sutton At Cafe Des Copains (Live)

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Album Review

Ralph Sutton is such a consistent pianist that virtually all of his releases are recommended. At the top of his admittedly small field (stride piano has become an almost extinct art form), Sutton always seems to sound inspired no matter how many times he has performed a particular number. This superior solo CD features Sutton live at Toronto's Cafe Des Copains, recorded live for radio during performances in 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1987. The stride pianist's style, which was fully formed by the mid-1950s, did not change during the era, so there is a strong unity to the music (as if it had all been played the same day). Highlights include "Laugh Clown Laugh," "You Can Depend On Me," "Somebody Stole My Gal" and "Christopher Columbus."


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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Ralph Sutton At Cafe Des Copains (Live), Ralph Sutton
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