James P. Johnson: Carolina Shout
James P. Johnson (piano)
Snowy Morning Blues (Decca GRD-604)
James P. Johnson (piano),
Eddie Dougherty (drums).
Composed by James P. Johnson.
Recorded: New York, August 15, 1944
Rating: 98/100 (learn more)
"Carolina Shout" is James P. Johnson's most famous composition, and mastering it was a major rite of passage for aspiring Harlem stride piano players. But no one played it better than Johnson himself, as demonstrated by this outstanding 1944 recording. Stride piano was long out of fashion by the time of this session, replaced by the more streamlined rhythms of Kansas City, the jitterbugging sounds of the Swing Era and the nascent pulse of bebop. But James P. Johnson paid little attention to these passing fads, and asserts his own powerful musical vision. Hear the granddaddy of all jazz keyboardists at top form, the man and the song that influenced everyone from Ellington to Monk. A classic of American pianism.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia
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