Black Ivory King cut only 4 sides in his career, but in the world of Texas blues and stride piano, those recordings are held in utmost regard. Here’s one of them, Flying Crow, from 1937. A frequent rider of the rails, he took the song’s title from a passenger train, one that ran between Kansas City and Port Arthur, Texas. It was operated by Kansas City Southern Lines, known as one of the first American railroads to use diesel power.
So what’s stride piano? For all you musicians out there, stride incorporates March and ragtime under its umbrella, and involves playing a single bass note, octave, or even a seventh or tenth interval on the first and third beats, and a chord on the alternate beats….For everyone else, stride involves using the left hand a lot more, and, as you’ll surmise, with more complexity.