Ralph Sutton

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This CD may very well contain the final recordings by Ralph Sutton, who died just over a year after these concerts in St. Louis, which included a rare opportunity to record with his sister, Barbara Sutton Curtis. Eight of the numbers feature the twin pianists, fueled by bassist Keter Betts and drummer Frank Capp. Appropriately enough, a hard-driving "St. Louis Blues" is the potent introduction. The quartet also glides through a lightly swinging "On the Sunny Side of the Street," a very playful "Ain't Misbehavin'" (complete with the all too often omitted verse), and a take-no-prisoners up-tempo romp through Meade Lux Lewis' boogie-woogie classic "Honky Tonk Train." Barbara, who is nowhere near as well known as her famous brother, is clearly no slouch at the piano; her features include a poignant "Brother Can You Spare a Dime?" and a well-crafted solo take of "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin'." Ralph glides effortlessly through "Fine and Dandy," "Farewell Blues," and "S'posin." Fans of stride piano and classic jazz will definitely want to snap up this thoroughly delightful live CD.

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