This is a remastered reissue of the Ralph Sutton Trio's COMPLETE STUDIO RECORDINGS, featuring George Wettling.
Pianist Ralph Sutton left a huge legacy of great recordings, documenting a lifetime dedicated to the fundamental taproots of jazz piano. Without exaggeration, Definitive's Complete Studio Recordings of the Ralph Sutton Trio with George Wettling belongs among the very best entries in the man's entire discography. It certainly epitomizes Sutton's mastery of the Harlem stride piano tradition (delightfully displayed during his treatment of Willie "The Lion" Smith's "Keep Your Temper"), while vividly showcasing his ability to unearth and immortalize all but forgotten Fats Waller compositions (a trait that Sutton shared with little sister Barbara Sutton-Curtis). This disc amounts to a compact gold mine combining favorite traditional jazz standards (heavy on the Waller favorites!) with little-known Waller originals like "Take It from Me," "Oriental Tones," and the lovely "Sheltered by the Stars, Cradled by the Moon." Tracks one through ten, recorded on July 5 and 6, 1950, have Sutton interacting with bassist Jack Lesberg and drummer George Wettling, a skilled percussionist long associated with Chicago-style jazz master Eddie Condon and with the independent Commodore record label. It's a pity that this trio didn't record thrice as much; as if to compensate, the folks at Definitive rounded out the collection with eight additional tracks (100 percent Waller) recorded on February 7, 1951, with Bob Casey handling the bass and Buzzy Drootin behind the drums. What you get here is utterly essential Ralph Sutton, and quite possibly one of the best traditional jazz piano compilations ever made available in the digital format. ~ arwulf arwulf