James P. was one of the earliest jazz musicians “to command respect.” He played a big role in the transition from ragtime to stride, and thence (hence) to jazz. His influence on Waller and Ellington was of immense significance, and his “Carolina Shout” was undoubtedly one of the most pivotal of piano solos. It is served up here with a dozen other performances, six of them also Johnson’s compositions-a welcome reminder of his importance as a composer. “If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight” was still years away.
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