James P. Johnson

Yamekraw and Other Selections

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This is an odd but very interesting LP. The great pianist James P. Johnson is heard performing his lengthy "Yamekraw" in 1945, an orchestral work that he interprets here as an episodic solo piano performance. On the flip side of the album there are four early recordings that singer/hustler Perry Bradford had something to do with. He sings "Sam Jones Done Snagged His Britches" (probably from the mid-'30s) and "Georgia's Always on My Mind" with the Gulf Coast Seven in 1928; in addition there are two early instrumentals ("That Thing Called Love" and "Shim-Me King's Blues") by Mamie Smith's Jazz Hounds from 1921. This LP is worth getting primarily for the rare James P. Johnson performance.