Brooks Kerr – Soda Fountain Rag (The Music of Duke Ellington)



Brooks Kerr was known as the premier protege and expert on the music of Duke Ellington. One day before Ellington’s birthday, in 2018 Kerr himself passed away due to an ongoing bout with kidney disease. Born in 1951 with partial blindness he became totally blind by age 28. He was known for being both an expert on Ellington’s music, as well as being a very interesting stride-style pianist, and a general jazz historian. He was fortunate enough to become a personal protege of Duke, often sitting in with the band as a “relief” pianist, especially toward the end of Ellington’s life, as he was battling cancer. In 1974 he and the great, original drummer with Ellington, Sonny Greer entered the studio for a duo session, produced by jazz writer Stanley Dance and Kerr himself.  On this first time CD and digital release, Brooks Kerr has dedicated an album’s worth of Ellington early compositions, to document some of the very earliest Ellington compositions, from his “first” piano rag, Soda Fountain Rag”, on down to “I’m So In Love With You” which was penned in 1929.  Featured in a duo setting with the legendary Ellingtonian “first chair percussionist” Sonny Greer, together they create a very happy, old fashioned mood that is quite enjoyable, listening after listening.


1. Soda Fountain Rag (3:03)

2. Rent Party Blues (3:00)

3. Choo Choo (2:25)

4. Sweet Mama (2:24)

5. Jazz Lips (2:35)

6. Awful Sad (3:49)

7. Blues With A Feelin’ (3:57)

8. Doin’ The Voom Voom (2:15)

9. Immigration Blues (4:00)

10. I’m So In Love With You (3:20)

11. Black Beauty (3:10)

12. Parlor Social Stomp (3:49)


Brooks Kerr (piano)

Sonny Greer (drums)

Recorded in New York City, 1974

© 2019 Squatty Roo Records

Additional information

Weight .25 oz
Dimensions 5 × 6 × .5 in
Media Type



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