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Stan Tracey

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Stan Tracey Trio: The 1959 Sessions

As admired and as influential as Thelonious Monk's piano playing was, his fascinating, jagged style wasn't often imitated. Monk's original compositions, however, were quick to become jazz standards and were played and recorded nearly as often as songs by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. But unlike Bud Powell, whose piano style was incorporated by many artists, few dared to play like Monk. Sure, there might be a Monkian figure here or there as a tribute, but most pianists wouldn't dare mimic him for fear of being considered an impersonator. [Photo above of Stan Tracey]
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Stan Tracey Trio: The 1959 Sessions – genius brewing

Everyone knows by now that a distinctively British style of jazz emerged in the 1960s, and it’s often said that Stan Tracey’s Under Milk Wood suite (1965) was its first unmistakable masterpiece. The 1959 Sessions, from a tape recently unearthed during a studio clear-out, is six years pre-masterpiece but welcome nonetheless. As both pianist and composer, Tracey developed his style under the twin influences of Ellington and Monk. This set him apart from the usual run of modern jazz in the 50s, and there was always the slight doggedness of the loner about him.
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Stan Tracey Trio: The 1959 Sessions

Sonny Rollins summed up the outsize talent of British pianist Stan Tracey in a remark he made sometime in the early 1960s. Tracey was then the house pianist at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, where Rollins was playing a season. "Does anyone over here realise how good this guy is?" Rollins asked the audience.
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