BiographyPianist Ralph Sutton has been "fighting the good fight," as jazz traditionalists might say, for over half a century now. Indebted to Stride masters Fats Waller, Willie "The Lion" Smith and James P. Johnson, he has lent his own lively, virtuosic approach to an idiom that reached its peak in the early 1920s (at which point he was still in diapers). He has a whole slew of mainstream, Swing-oriented outings under his belt, recorded over the years with such like-minded tradition-bearers as cornetist Ruby Braff and bassist Milt Hinton. However, the best way to get a glimpse of the powerful left-hand rhythms, swift right-hand ornamentations, and general command of the keyboard may be to listen to him solo, with his entry in the Live at Maybeck Hall series being a solid example.
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