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Last of the Whorehouse Piano Players

Jay McShann & Ralph Sutton

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Album Review

Not to be confused with the CD reissue of the same name (Chiaroscuro 206) recorded in 1979, this reunion encounter by pianists Ralph Sutton and Jay McShann (in a quartet with bassist Milt Hinton and drummer Gus Johnson) is up to the same level of the original dates, with plenty of heated moments on songs such as "Old Fashioned Love," "Sweet Georgia Brown," "Cherry," and "I've Found a New Baby." While Sutton is the definitive stride pianist of the past half-century, McShann (who also takes a couple of vocals) finds space to infuse the music with a strong dose of blues and Kansas City swing. A seven-minute "Jazzspeak" wraps up the enjoyable outing with some reminiscing about the sessions.

Biography

Born: 12 January 1916 in Muskogee, OK

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The great veteran pianist Jay McShann (also known as Hootie) enjoyed a long career and it is unfair to primarily think of him as merely the leader of an orchestra that featured a young Charlie Parker. He was mostly self-taught as a pianist, worked with Don Byas as early as 1931 and played throughout the Midwest before settling in Kansas City in 1936. McShann formed his own sextet the following year and by 1939 had his own big band. In 1940 at a radio station in Wichita, KS, McShann and an octet out...
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Last of the Whorehouse Piano Players, Jay McShann
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