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    In the Dark Ralph Sutton

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    bob erwig

    by bob erwig

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    In the Dark - Ralph Sutton
    During the 1989 Bern Jazz Festival we see a performance by pianist Ralph Sutton. This a seldom heard composition by Bix Beiderbecke, called “In the Dark”. The only recording by Bix playing solo piano was his composition “In a Mist” in 1927.
    Ralph Earl Sutton was an outstanding pianist in the great tradition of Harlem stride giants James P. Johnson and Fats Waller. Ralph Sutton was born in Hamburg, Missouri on November 4th, 1922. His career got under way when he joined Jack Teagarden in 1941 while he was still in college. During the 40s he attracted widespread attention, thanks to his participation in a series of radio shows hosted by jazz writer Rudi Blesh,This is Jazz. He had a trio with Albert Nicholas, and beginning in 1948 he worked eight years as intermission pianist at Eddie Condon''s club in New York. Later he worked for Bob Scobey and, in 1963, was featured at the first Dick Gibson Jazz Party in Denver. This was to lead to the formation in 1968 of the World''s Greatest Jazzband, of which Sutton was a founding member. Thereafter, Sutton''s star rose.  He recorded a series of albums and toured the world, solo and in a variety of settings. His musical partners in these ventures included Ruby Braff, Jay McShann, Kenny Davern, and Peanuts Hucko.