James P. Johnson & Perry Bradford

James P. Johnson

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James P. Johnson & Perry Bradford Review

by Scott Yanow

This collector's LP contains 16 consistently heated recordings from the 1920s. The masterful stride pianist James P. Johnson leads his "Harmony Eight" on two numbers from 1921 and is heard on all of his band sides from 1927-29; a special highpoint is his playing (along with fellow pianist Fats Waller) on "What's the Use of Being Alone?" from a session led by cornetist Johnny Dunn. Rounding out the rather exciting album are six selections that feature vocals by Perry Bradford, two of which offer early examples of the great cornetist Jabbo Smith. 1920s collectors should go out of their way to acquire this set.