CD Commodore Piano Anthology (CD 6789433),
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Commodore Piano Anthology

  • 1. King Porter Stomp - Jelly Roll Morton
    2. Crave, The - Jelly Roll Morton
    3. Passionette - Willie "The Lion" Smith
    4. Finger Buster - Willie "The Lion" Smith
    5. Selection from the Gutter, A - Art Hodes
    6. Organ Grinder Blues - Art Hodes
    7. That Old Feeling - Teddy Wilson
    8. Night and Day - Teddy Wilson
    9. You're Some Pretty Doll - Fats Waller
    10. My Ideal - Art Tatum
    11. Summertime - Joe Sullivan
    12. Andy's Blues - Joe Sullivan
    13. Candlelights - Jess Stacy
    14. You're Driving Me Crazy - Jess Stacy
    15. Albert's Special Boogie Woogie - Albert Ammons
    16. Blues on My Mind - Albert Ammons
    17. I Can't Get Started - Joe Bushkin
    18. Blue Chips - Joe Bushkin
    19. Jubilee - Mel Powell
    20. When a Woman Loves a Man - Mel Powell
    21. Sweet Lorraine - Ralph Sutton
    22. Snowy Morning Blues - Ralph Sutton
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 543273

  • Credits
    ProducerOrrin Keepnews (Compilation); Orrin Keepnews (Reissue)

    Includes liner notes by Dick Katz.
    Digitally remastered by Eric Labson (MCA Music Media Studios, North Hollywood, California).
    Personnel: Eddie Condon, Al Casey (guitar); Edmond Hall, Pee Wee Russell (clarinet); Coleman Hawkins (tenor saxophone); Cootie Williams, Marty Marsala (trumpet); George Brunies (trombone); George Wettling, Arthur Trappier, Big Sid Catlett, Cliff Leeman (drums).
    Recording information: Baldwin Studio, New York, NY (05/13/1938-06/03/1953); Beltone Recording, New York, NY (05/13/1938-06/03/1953); Decca Studio A, New York, NY (05/13/1938-06/03/1953); Harry Smith Recording, New York, NY (05/13/1938-06/03/1953); Liederkranz Hall, New York, NY (05/13/1938-06/03/1953); Reeves Sound, New York, NY (05/13/1938-06/03/1953); WOR Recording Studios, New York, NY (05/13/1938-06/03/1953).
    Illustrator: JoDee Stringham.
    Photographer: Charles Peterson .
    Focusing mostly on swing and stride piano but occasionally detouring into boogie woogie, Commodore Piano Anthology, which came out in 2000 and spans 1938-1953, isn't the definitive collection of pre-bebop jazz piano; it couldn't be without anything by Duke Ellington, Earl "Fatha" Hines, James P. Johnson, or Count Basie. But then, it wasn't meant to be. What the collection does do is take an enjoyable look at some of the pre-Bud Powell, pre-Thelonious Monk pianists who recorded for Commodore during the era of 78s as either leaders or sidemen, many of whom were among the true heavyweights of their time. Jelly Roll Morton, Willie "The Lion" Smith, Albert Ammons, and Jess Stacy are all heard as unaccompanied solo pianists, whereas Fats Waller and Art Tatum are heard in small group settings -- Waller as a sideman for guitarist Eddie Condon on "You're Some Pretty Doll" in 1940, Tatum with the Esquire All Stars on a 1943 recording of "My Ideal," which also boasts Coleman Hawkins on tenor sax and Cootie Williams on trumpet. Meanwhile, the CD illustrates Teddy Wilson's flexibility by offering an unaccompanied performance of "That Old Feeling" in 1938 next to a 1944 version of "Night and Day" (which finds the pianist comprising of clarinetist Edmond Hall's quartet). Again, this collection isn't the last word on pre-bop piano, but it's definitely pleasing and worth picking up. ~ Alex Henderson

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