Dave Brubeck discovers Tupper Saussy:
Not too many summers ago (I think it was five) I heard an unusual pianist with an unusual name at the Music Inn in Lenox, Massachusetts. He was then very young and the job was a "summer gig" --"an excursion to the North," he explained, "and a chance to hear the well known jazz groups that played the Music Barn, as well as to earn money to tide over the next college year."
What this young pianist did not realize was that many of the "well known musicians" he had come North to hear were leaving Music Inn very impressed with what they had heard.
Not only did his piano playing knock me out, but what a name! When I was first introduced to him, I misunderstood his name to be "Cup and Saucer" and that's what he's been to me ever since.
A few years later, my Quartet had an engagement at Sewanee, Tennessee, at the University of the South and I had an opportunity to talk with Tupper again. He seemed happy and content with life as it was, and I had the feeling that he might not choose to wage the battle all musicians must face to get themselves recorded and presented to a larger public. That is why this album is a very pleasant surprise for me. I feel that a great talent has just begun to emerge.
His compositions and the choice of the material on the album show him to be at home with many varied approaches. I had not realized that he was developing as a writer because I had heard him only as a solo pianist. As a matter of fact, my favorite tracks on the album are his compositions, "Melissa" and "Contrary Waltz."
A very good follow-up album would be to present Tupper Saussy as a solo pianist. All he'd have to do for my money would be to recreate what I heard years ago at Music Inn, when I first had the pleasure to discover Tupper Saussy for myself.