The James P. Johnson Collection 1921-49
James P. Johnson
Catalogue Number: FADCD2052
James P. Johnson was one of the greatest and most important jazz pianists in the history of the genre, largely responsible for originating what became the stride piano style, and having a profound influence on contemporaries and later luminaries such as Fats Waller and Duke Ellington. He was one of the earliest recording artists in jazz, making piano rolls before 1920, and then becoming a star in Harlem in the early ‘20s. He was a successful composer as well as musician, writing songs for Broadway shows like “Running Wild”, including the musical landmark that encapsulated the Roaring Twenties “The Charleston”. He was in demand to record with many artists during this era, and accompanied a number of the top female blues artists of the day, such as Bessie Smith and Ethel Waters. This excellent-value 47-track collection covers the period of more than a quarter of a century which comprised his most active recording career, which was slowing down when he suffered a disabling stroke in 1951. It naturally includes many of his most famous tunes and piano solos, but also includes his work with a host of major names over the years, including Fats Waller, Bessie Smith, King Oliver, Clarence Williams, Eddie Condon and Sidney Bechet. It’s a fascinating overview of his career, and a great showcase for one of the genre’s most influential piano stylists.