Ralph Earl Sutton (November 4, 1922 – December 30, 2001) was an American jazz pianist born in Hamburg, Missouri. He was a stride pianist in the tradition of James P. Johnson and Fats Waller. Sutton had a stint as a session musician with Jack Teagarden's band before joining the US Army during World War II. After the war, he played at various venues in Missouri, eventually ending up at Eddie Condon's club in Greenwich Village. In 1956, he relocated to San Francisco, California, where he recorded several albums with Bob Scobey's dixieland band. From the 1960s onward, he worked mostly on his own. He died in 2001 and was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame the following year. Sutton died in Evergreen, Colorado.
When we lost Ralph Sutton in December 2001, - he was within a couple of month of his 80th birthday. His Music lives on through the legacy of his recordings, to which these previously unissued 1969 live performances make a most welcome addition. One of the truly jazz pianists around, who in his stride playing in particular, mastered the great standards set by the Harlem Giants of the 1920’s: James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, Luckey Roberts and Willie “The Lion” Smith.