Herman Chittison

Master of the Stride Piano

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It is a pity that this valuable music has thus far only been made available in complete form on this obscure (and difficult to find) collector's LP. Herman Chittison, a brilliant if not particularly influential stride pianist, is heard on two numbers backing guitarist-singer Ikey Robinson and on 17 piano solos, all but the final two recorded in Paris during 1934 or 1938. On his earlier performances (which show a strong Art Tatum influence and are highlighted by a stunning version of "Honeysuckle Rose"), Chittison sounds a bit mechanical (although his technique was quite impressive) but by 1938 he was putting more feeling into his solos. These historic records will certainly interest prebop collectors and fans of the stride piano, if they can find this LP.