Willie “The Lion” Smith & Don Ewell – Grand Piano Duets
In the spring of 1965 pianist Don Ewell began his four-week engagement in Toronto that lasted seven months. David Gillman, a jazz fan and one-time promoter, started hanging at the Golden Nugget and was reminded of another stride legend Willie “The Lion” Smith who he had presented in the `40s. Fast forward to ’66, Gillman brings Ewell and Smith together for a Canadian TV filming. While in town the two jam together often at the Nugget and informal, live recordings are made (issued as Stride Piano Duets, Delmark 249). The following year the two are brought together into a recording studio and this album is the astonishing result.
On Social Media