Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|James P. Johnson|
James P Johnson 1921 1928
Genres: Blues, Jazz
Twenties New York Jazz
B. D. Tutt | London, UK. | 04/15/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the first of eight volumes in the Classics re-issue of all James P. Johnson recordings released (mostly)under his own name.Tracks 1 - 3 are piano solos from 1921, and show that the essentials of Johnson's stride piano style were already well in place. All are strong swinging performances with Johnson's trademark precision and drive. Tracks 4-6 are eminently forgettable: mediocre performances by what sounds like a theate pit ensemble. Tracks 7 - 12 are piano solos from 1923, but show Johnson in his "novelty piano" guise, sounding very similar to his contemporary piano roll performances.The quality picks up for the second half of the CD. "Snowy Morning Blues" is a classic statement of one of Johnson's favorite compositions. Tracks 17-18 are lively trumpet / piano performances accompanying the limited singing talent of Perry Bradford. The final tracks are jazz band recordings featuring both Johnson and his pupil Fats Waller at the piano, exploiting the success they had as a duo in "Keep Shufflin'" on Broadway.This CD isn't essential Johnson (tracks 1-3 & 14 apart) but lovers of stride piano or 1920s New York jazz will want to own it."
Making the Ray Bryant Connection.
Tom | Palatine, IL USA | 10/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Much like the "Five Degree of Kevin Bacon," it seems that Ray Bryant can be connected to most great pianist (and virtually every other important jazz musician) pretty directly.This one is a snap. It Seems that James P. Johnson used to earn his living (at least in the early years) playing "rent" parties in Harlem.At bigger parties several pianists would actually compete...to the delight of the crowd. How these contests were judged I don't know, but who did he compete against? None other than Fats Waller and...BOBBIE HENDERSON, who appears with Ray Bryant on "Key One Up." Too easy.This disc is a fabulous collection of original pieces by Mr. Johnson, most of which combine the strucure of Joplin with the entertaining goofiness of Waller. The early cuts are pretty muted and dull sounding, (hell, it was 1921!) but the later stuff sounds surprisingly clean.This disc, and its 22(!) cuts makes for a fabulous addtion to any piano lovers collection."