Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
A major if underrated stride pianist, Don Ewell was inspired by Jelly Roll Morton and Earl Hines, but could stride like Fats Waller, too. He started leading his own trios in Baltimore in the mid-'30s; played during the New Orleans jazz revival (starting in the mid-'40s) with Bunk Johnson, Muggsy Spanier, Sidney Bechet, and Kid Ory (1953); and was with Jack Teagarden during 1957-1964. Ewell sometimes played duets with the weakening Willie "the Lion" Smith in the late '60s before moving to New Orleans, where he worked regularly during his last years. He recorded for Good Time Jazz (three 1956-1957 dates are available on CD), GHB/Audiophile/Jazzology, Delmark, Fat Cat's Jazz, and Chiaroscuro; previously unreleased sets were issued posthumously by Stomp Off and Pumpkin.