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James P Johnson 1943 1944

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, June 9, 1998
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$49.99 $166.06

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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Daintiness Rag
  2. Snowy Morning Blues
  3. J.P. Boogie
  4. Backwater Blues
  5. Carolina Balmoral
  6. Gut Stomp
  7. Mule Walk (Stomp)
  8. Arkansas Blues
  9. Caprice Rag
  10. Improvisations On Pinetop's Boogie Woogie - James P. Johnson J
  11. Blueberry Rhyme
  12. Blues For Fats
  13. Blue Mizz - James P. Johnson's Blue Note Jazz Men
  14. Victory Stride - James P. Johnson's Blue Note Jazz Men
  15. Joy-Mentin' - James P. Johnson's Blue Note Jazz Men
  16. After You've Gone - James P. Johnson's Blue Note Jazz Men
  17. I've Got A Feelin' I'm Fallin'
  18. My Fate Is In Your Hands
  19. Ain't Misbehavin'
  20. Blue Turning Grey Over You

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 9, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Classics
  • ASIN: B000001NQU
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,267,818 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By B. D. Tutt on October 13, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is another in the Classics review of the recordings of the great stride pianist James P. Johnson, and is probably the strongest of the series.
In 1940, Johnson had suffered the first of the strokes which were eventually to end his career. By 1943 he had recovered and was playing again at something approaching his old skill, as these recordings demonstrate.
Tracks one and two are from the series of sessions Johnson did for Asch. "Daintiness Rag" is given a stronger performance than the 1947 version, whilst the lyrical "Snowy Morning Blues" is superior to the 1944 Decca version. Tracks 3 - 10 are amongst Johnson's greatest solo recordings. Made for Blue Note in late 1943, they include two fashionable boogie - influenced improvisions, a lyrical performance of "Arkansas Blues" (which he had recorded in the early 1920s as a piano roll), and a solo version of his classic accompaniment to Bessie Smith, "Backwater Blues". However, the key performances are "Carolina Balmoral", "Mule Walk Stomp" and "Caprice Rag". All fast stride showpieces, Johnson delivers tour de force performances that indicate just what a formidable pianist he was. In particular, his improvisional ability is highlighted to great effect by the extended playing time Blue Note offered. Listen, for example, to the 22 choruses on "Carolina Balmoral". On "Mule Walk", the abrupt ending suggests that Johnson could have gone on for several minutes more. These are essential recordings.
Tracks 11 - 12 were recorded three days after the death of Johnson's pupil Fats Waller, and "Blues for Fats" includes quotations from some of Waller's greatest hits.
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