Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|James P Johnson|
Snowy Morning Blues
Genres: Jazz, Pop
This collection of James P. Johnson's Decca recordings is an excellent introduction to the pianist's art, including early and later recordings, some of his own best-known pieces, and well-known pieces by others. Four piano... more »
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This collection of James P. Johnson's Decca recordings is an excellent introduction to the pianist's art, including early and later recordings, some of his own best-known pieces, and well-known pieces by others. Four piano solos from 1930 include an animated rendition of Cole Porter's "What Is This Thing Called Love?" and his own "You've Got to Be Modernistic," while the bulk of the material comes from 1944 recordings. For the first eight of these, Johnson is accompanied by drummer Eddy Dougherty in a series of pieces associated with his recently deceased friend Fats Waller. It's an affecting tribute, tempering Waller's exuberance with Johnson's more reflective approach, and it includes both Waller's own compositions, like "Ain't Misbehavin' " and "Honeysuckle Rose," and songs strongly associated with him, like his biggest hit, "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter." The later solo recordings of some of Johnson's earlier and best-known pieces, including "Snowy Morning Blues" and "Carolina Shout," couple his enduring playing ability with significantly improved recording technology. --Stuart Broomer
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Not the best James P...
B. D. Tutt | London, UK. | 03/21/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I don't agree with the previous reviewer about this CD. The 1944 Decca sides have a fundamental flaw as far as assessing Johnson is concerned: the irritating and unneccesary drum accompaniment which largely drowns out James P's outstanding but under-recorded left hand, an essential ingredient of stride piano. Both the Waller sides and the Johnson originals lose a great deal from this: compare "Keep Off the Grass" with the 1921 version on Classics to see what is missing from this set.Johnson was a great pianist, but this CD does not do him justice. The Fats Waller tunes can be heard in their superior drumless recordings on Classics, and those who want a single taster of Johnson are advised to go for the Smithsonian 1942-45 set."
Jimmy Johnson playing stride piano as it should be played
Aaron The Baron | 09/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"James P. Johnson(the man who tought Fats Waller how to play stride) is featured here in these incredibly enjoyable 1940's Decca side. Among the many classics here are "Blue Turning Grey Over You" "Aint Misbehavin'" and "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down & Write Myself A Letter." Though every track is a classic. This CD has chrystal clarity and is highly recommended to fans of stride piano, and traditional jazz. This is some of the best stride piano playing ever, it bel;ongs in every jazz lovers library."
A very enjoyable, worthwhile disc
"Gimpy" Peach Johnson | 01/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've had this disc in my collection for over a year now, and I still find myself pulling it out to play frequently. The remastering of Johnson's 1940s Decca recordings is superb, and the complete discography included is very helpful as well. The recordings are pleasant enough, although purists may complain about the added drummer on most tracks (the liner notes indicate that the drummer was added to "help" Johnson, who had suffered a stroke not long before the bulk of these tracks were recorded). Johnson's playing is superb, with everything you'd expect from the "father" of stride piano: clean and crisp, with lots of energy! All of Johnson's classics are here, and along with the Smithsonian Folkways James P. Johnson disc, this is a CD that every early jazz fan should have. Highly recommended!"