A Handful of Keys

Bobby Henderson

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A Handful of Keys Review

by Scott Yanow

Although already 47, pianist Bobby Henderson made his recording debut on this Vanguard set which has been reissued on CD. Playing solo piano Henderson (who had been discovered by producer John Hammond the previous year) shows off his talents as a stride pianist on eight songs either composed by or associated with Fats Waller (including "Keeping Out of Mischief Now," "Jitterbug Waltz" and "Handful of Keys") plus "Sweet Lorraine," "Twelfth St. Rag" and Henderson's own "Blues for Fats." There were not that many "new" stride pianists popping up in the 1950s so it is surprising that Henderson recorded only four albums in his career; all are worth getting by fans of the styles of Fats Waller and James P. Johnson.

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