Ralph Sutton – Piano, Vocals
Michael Silva – Drums
Recorded on November 27, 1988 live at Espace
Jean Vilar, Amilly, France
This session took place at the behest of
the Hot Club du Gatinais, a small town some
100Kms South of Paris.
Sutton the last of the
great ‘stride’ piano players is on his
very best form, in this most entertaining
of albums. For anyone not sure of what
‘stride piano’ is, both Thomas ‘Fats’
Waller and Bill Basie, yes the Count himself,
were also great exponents. Drummer Michael
Silva, who Ralph had not worked with before,
was the only other musician used on this
live recording. The two of them seemed
to work together just fine, but after
all Silva had worked for Sammy Davies,
so you would expect that.
The audience was generous
with their applause and it is well deserved,
Ralph Sutton has lots of technique and
a very polished approach to his work.
I have listened to other records Ralph
has made and the same remarks could apply
to all of them, but on this particular
day it all seemed to be a bit special.
The programme is an excellent
one to show off Ralph’s talents and it
includes a number of Fats Waller tunes
and a very nice Ellington medley, which
starts with Sophisticated Lady, one of
my Ellington favourites and moves into
another with ‘I Let a Song Go Out of My
Heart. Ring Dem Bells complete the medley.
This album is a must
for fans of ‘stride’ piano playing and
for those who do not know the stride genre
it is an excellent opportunity to find
out about it.