Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Live at Maybeck 30
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
B. D. Tutt | London, UK. | 03/31/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ralph Sutton has long been a top flight stride pianist, and this 1994 album offers a typical set of Sutton favourites. Indeed, Sutton has been criticised for playing the same pieces again and again, and anyone who has heard him live will have heard many of these numbers.However, Sutton is a genuinely improvising player, and within the context of Waller influenced stride piano, he plays with great creativity. Even though he must have played many of these pieces thousands of times, he finds something fresh to say. "Dinah", for example, is very different to previous recordings of it. Sutton is also a great ballad player, as tracks like "Love Lies" demonstrate.Sutton is not quite in top form on this CD, but is such a fine player that a typical day for him is better than most of the competition. The sound quality is good, the audience enthusiastic and the piano in tune.Along with "Live from the Cafe des Copains" on Sackville and "Eye Opener" on Solo Art, this album is a good record of the way Sutton has been playing in the last 20 years."
jive rhapsodist | NYC, NY United States | 03/05/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"OK, it's not so harsh...I'd give it 3 1/2 if I knew how. but still...I want to like this disc more - he plays great. On some tracks he really plays his butt off. But some of his choices...
I compared his version of Bix's In The Dark to Jess Stacy's wonderful performance. Sutton just doen't trust the material. The balance between Jazz and Impressionism is upset by his overreliance on rubato. And in Willie the Lion's Echo of Spring, a potentially magnificent performance is marred by his repeating the quotes from Waller's African Ripples, as though he doesn't think we got his connection. And at 6 min.,it's about a minute too long - the improvising is good but not fascinating. And just in terms of programming, there are a couple of quotes from Dinah, which is the next track!
There is a lot of Waller in Sutton's playing, but technically he cannot bring off Waller's pearly runs and arpeggios (hear the beginnings of Ain't Misbehavin' and Viper's Drag). But this is unfair; Fats was a miracle...
Sometimes Sutton's groove is a little too bouncy and not incisive enough for my taste. At those moments he sounds like the World's Greatest Restaurant Pianist...but then I'm not doing justice to his passion, which is considerable. He was not a simple re-creator; he did a lot to keep this music alive and vital. I totally respect that, and there's a lot of pleasure to get out of his playing here."
Ralph Sutton at Maybeck
Donald E. Gould | 03/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the best of all Ralph Sutton recordings. The songs are classics. The piano is outstanding, as is the artist. His unique piano style and his arrangements are hard to copy. I will miss Ralph for the rest of my life.