Stride! Fats, Jimmy, Lion, Lamb, and All the Other Ticklers
By John L. Fell
Stride developed over a period spanning World War I to the depression years, though younger players maintain its traditions today. It is a musical style marked by friendly rivalry and shared pleasures. Drawing on the authors' personal interviews and biographies, the book traces stride from generation to generation, from the originators Eubie Blake, Luckey Roberts, and James P. Johnson, through a succession of pianists like Willie the Lion Smith. Fell and Vinding also examine its influence on Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Joe Sullivan, and Johnny Guarnieri, concluding with third and fourth generations that include Ralph Sutton, Dick Hyman, and Dick Wellstood. The authors describe the exceptional Donald Lambert from personal experience.
Throughout, influences are traced and documented by way of CD and LP citations. Stride! finishes the tune with appendixes that itemize the compositions of Luckey Roberts, Fats Waller and Willie the Lion Smith.
Reviews"What a delight this book is! It's not an introduction to the subject but a feast four gourmets who already have a taste for the cooking of James P., Fats, the Lion and many of the other pianists along the road from ragtime to swing...This would be a great book even without its overall cohesiveness."—Jazz Times
"The brief biographies of the book constitute its greatest strength...Especially valuable are the chapters on neglected, minor, or obscure players, several of which feature previously unpublished interviews."--Notes
"...both instructive and entertaining...absorbing, previously unpublished interviews...a fine book..."—Crescendo & Jazz Music
"Traces the devlopment of the stride piano style from its roots in minstrel show and ragtime through the contirbutions in itinerant entertainers...personal interviews and biographies, portrays the players, the music, and the scene through the generations"— Reference and Research Book News
"Stride! contains a lot of valuable and interesting information about the creation of the exhuberant piano wtyle which was given that name...this is a very important book..."—Mississippi Rag