Wally Rose: Whippin’ the Keys

Bob Koester’s Delmark label may be most famous for its groundbreaking AACM recordings and its important blues dates, but it has also reflected Koester’s interest in early jazz, ragtime and bop. Wally Rose, best known for his playing with Lu Watters’ Yerba Buena Jazz Band in the 1940s, helped keep ragtime alive before its comeback in the 1970s. Whippin’ the Keys has all of the music from Rose’s two best solo ragtime dates, obscure albums for the Blackbird label from 1968 and 1971. Tickle Toe features a pair of veterans of the Chicago scene, bass trumpeter Cy Touff and tenor-saxophonist Sandy Mosse, on a previously unissued swing/bop date from 1981. With Mosse sounding like Zoot Sims and Touff hinting at valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, the music is very much in the 1950s Lester Young cool-jazz vein. Pianist John Campbell leads the excellent rhythm section.