Ralph Sutton: Honeysuckle Rose
Ralph Sutton (piano)
Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, Vol. 30 (Concord Jazz CCD-4586)
Ralph Sutton (piano).
Composed by Fats Waller & Andy Razaf.
Recorded: Maybeck Recital Hall, Berkeley, CA, August 8, 1993
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
Question: What's a 70-year-old white guy in 1990s upscale California doing with 1920s Harlem rent-party stride piano? Answer: Playing the hell out of it. Sutton was only 7 when Fats wrote "Honeysuckle Rose," but sounds like he was anointed in the Reverend Waller's Abyssinian Baptist Church. After a long, out- of-tempo intro, Sutton settles into a loping 4/4 to quote from "At the Codfish Ball." Did lowdown Ralph in highfalutin Berkeley feel like a fish out of water? No matter. Soon hitting his stride, Sutton double-times it to the finish line with such wit and wallop as did Waller wallow. Wow!
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz