Thomas “Fats” Waller was the prize pupil, and later colleague, of the great stride pianist James P. Johnson. He grew to become an influential American jazz pianist, organist, composer, singer, and comedic entertainer, whose innovations to the Harlem stride style laid the groundwork for modern jazz piano with compositions “Ain’t Misbehavin'”, “I can’t give you anything but love” & “Honeysuckle Rose”.
Jelly Roll Morton, was a New Orleans American ragtime and early jazz pianist, bandleader and composer. Widely recognised as a pivotal figure in early jazz, Morton was jazz’s first “arranger”, proving music rooted in improvisation could retain its essential spirit and characteristics when notated. His compositions, including “Jelly Roll Blues”, King Porter Stomp” & “Black Bottom Stomp” are must-plays in the piano repertoire.
Following his sell-out concert at St. James in 2014, playing the music of Scott Joplin and the Ragtime Masters, Keith Nichols, one of the foremost and in demand pianists specialising in older piano styles, returns for this concert. Keith is joined for The Wonderful Music of Fats Waller & Jelly Roll Morton, by Trevor Whiting – clarinet and Martin Wheatley – acoustic guitar and banjo.
‘I’ve heard a lot of pianists, but Keith Nichols plays the nearest to my father’ Fats Waller’s son Maurice
The third of four concerts in “The Wonderful Music of The Jazz Greats” autumn 2015 series at St.James