Willie "The Lion" Smith

Willie the Lion Smith

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This out-of-print LP has some of the highlights of pianist Willie "The Lion" Smith's four recording sessions recorded in Paris for the Vogue label during 1949-50. For the fine all-round showcase, the Lion is heard performing six originals in duet with drummer Wallace Bishop (including "Echoes of Spring," "Portrait of the Duke" and "Contrary Motion"), playing six romping piano solos (including his rendition of James P. Johnson's "Carolina Shout") and jamming three standards and a blues in a dixieland quartet with trumpeter Buck Clayton, clarinetist Cladue Luter and drummer Bishop. The performances overlap with a similar GNP/Crescendo LP but this is the better buy although both sets will be difficult to find.