Stride is such a triumph of instinct and athleticism that it always amazes me. Here’s a rare clip of the American pianist Joe Turner (not to be confused with Big Joe Turner) — who appeared in 1931 as one half of a duo backing the singer Adelaide Hall. The other pianist? A kid from Ohio named Tatum.
I love what I call Jazz Manglish — so James P.’s title, an admonitory KEEP OFF THE GRASS, is transformed here into KEEPING OUT OF THE GRASS, which is gentler and more descriptive, but hardly the same thing. We know what it means, though. And it seems as if stride demands a cigar — think of the Lion and James P. — although Fats got by with cigarettes. But he was Fats, of course.