1930 to 1990
November 4, 1922 in St. Charles County
December 30, 2001
Hamburg, Missouri, United States
Ralph Earl Sutton was an American jazz pianist born 4 November 1922 in Hamburg, Missouri. He died 30 December 2001 in Evergreen, Colorado. Ralph Sutton was the greatest stride pianist to emerge since World War II, with his only close competitors being the late Dick Wellstood and the very versatile Dick Hyman. Nearly alone in his generation, Sutton kept alive the piano styles of Fats Waller and James P. Johnson, not as mere museum pieces but as devices for exciting improvisations. Although sticking within the boundaries of his predecessors, Sutton infused the music with his own personality; few could match his powerful left hand.