Storyville Records

Sutton Quartet, Ralph

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.

Recordings

Ralph Sutton Quartet: Featuring Bob Wilber Vol. 3

Laid-back live session from 1969 with four compatible and well-acquainted musicians. Ralph Sutton plays a stride-style piano, while Bob Wilber's clarinet style is strongly influenced by Sidney Bechet. The repertoire consists of 9 standards (mostly from the 20's & 30's) plus two charming obscurities. The musical style is a blend of swing and mainstream jazz. The laid-back professionalism and close compatiblity of the musicians combine to make this a memorable live session which - thanks to the many subtilties in the music - sounds better and better the more times it's heard.