Ralph Sutton

The Second Set

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Ralph Sutton was one of the few living masters of stride piano by the time this night club engagement was recorded in St. Louis. This is the second volume of music recorded during his March, 1999, gig at the Backstage Bistro, but it is by no means inferior to the earlier Gaslight CD. Accompanied by two seasoned veterans, bassist Jack Lesberg and drummer Frank Capp, Sutton is in top form. One doesn't normally think of "Moonglow" as part of a stride pianist's repertoire, but Sutton's jaunty interpretation should prompt other practitioners to include it in their books. "Basin Street Blues" features a delightful call-and-response between the artist and Lesberg in its introduction before the leader takes over to work his magic with this jazz standard. The pianist also is featured on several delightful solos, including an alternate take of "Love Me" (a tune all but forgotten by most jazz musicians), a tantalizing performance of "Love Lies," a jubilant "Tea for Two," plus the added bonus of a private recording made in 1950, in a fan's home, of Sutton's romp through the boogie woogie classic "Honky Tonk Train Blues." Highly recommended!

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