James P. Johnson

James P. Johnson 1928-1931

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This very enjoyable LP from the Australian Swaggie label has more than its share of classic recordings. Pianist James P. Johnson combines with Fats Waller (on organ), cornetist Jabbo Smith and Garvin Bushell (who switches between clarinet, alto and bassoon) for four melodic selections that were released under the name of The Louisiana Sugar Babes. In addition Johnson has two piano solos, duets with fellow pianist Clarence Williams on "I've Found a New Baby" and leads a variety of bands that feature vocals from Perry Bradford, Andy Razaf and the "Keep Shufflin' Trio"; among the soloists are trumpeters Cootie Williams, Ward Pinkett, Louis Metcalf and King Oliver. This is timeless music that is essential in one form or another; fortunately much of it has already been reissued on CD.