Author Topic: The Ragtime Parlor  (Read 22475 times)

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Offline schnittkease

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The Ragtime Parlor
« on: March 26, 2018, 10:33:04 AM »
I know, not jazz per se, but an important predecessor of it. Regarded by some as the first distinctly American form of music.

I've been getting to know ragtime over the past couple months - not just the "Big Three," but some popular songs as well. So far Gussie L. Davis with his tearjerkers haven't disappointed, and a few pre-1922 Irving Berlin hits are pleasant. Not into any particular singer(s) at the moment, just composers and their respective works.

As I'm still learning, I thought it would be a decent idea to set up this thread as a place to discuss ragtime. When I learn of new pieces that I like especially I will post them here.

Oh, and let's try to stay away from "coon songs."   

Offline San Antone

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Re: The Ragtime Parlor
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2018, 10:35:34 AM »
Love ragtime.  I've got a couple of books on it (history, major figures) that I haven't read much in so far, but it ties in with my interest in early jazz.

Looking forward to a discussion and hearing about your journal through the music.

 8)

Offline schnittkease

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Re: The Ragtime Parlor
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2018, 09:53:27 AM »
Love ragtime.  I've got a couple of books on it (history, major figures) that I haven't read much in so far, but it ties in with my interest in early jazz.

Looking forward to a discussion and hearing about your journal through the music.

Glad to hear it!

Offline schnittkease

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Re: The Ragtime Parlor
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2018, 10:20:56 AM »
One of my recent discoveries is Cataract Rag by Robert Hampton. In many places it seems to blend ragtime in classical - take the flowing arpeggiated passages, for example. Although the composer seems to have had only three published works, this is definitely one of the more substantial rags out there.


Offline torut

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Re: The Ragtime Parlor
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2018, 09:00:18 PM »
One of my recent discoveries is Cataract Rag by Robert Hampton. In many places it seems to blend ragtime in classical - take the flowing arpeggiated passages, for example. Although the composer seems to have had only three published works, this is definitely one of the more substantial rags out there.

This is very good and interesting, thank you. That passages sound like a part of piano work by a Romantic composer.

On the youtube page, I found a rag composition by the pianist, Aaron Robinson, called Bluet Rag (The New England Ragtime Suite II), a beautiful piece. According to cdbaby, it has been called one of the "best contemporary rags ever written".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1RBj04YPUg


Offline schnittkease

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Re: The Ragtime Parlor
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2018, 03:45:14 PM »
This is very good and interesting, thank you. That passages sound like a part of piano work by a Romantic composer.

It does, doesn't it? The uploader calls it Lisztian.

On the youtube page, I found a rag composition by the pianist, Aaron Robinson, called Bluet Rag (The New England Ragtime Suite II), a beautiful piece. According to cdbaby, it has been called one of the "best contemporary rags ever written".

Wow, this is very nice! I put the album on my wishlist; Robinson's interpretations are superb across the board.

Offline torut

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Re: The Ragtime Parlor
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2018, 08:53:03 AM »
I like Robinson's playing. Very lively but not too bouncy. His recording of Max Morath's ragtime is also very good. Morath started composing rags in 1950's. Lyrical and sensitive, without losing the uplifting feeling of rag.

I've been interested in contemporary rags. William Bolcom's piano rags played by John Murphy is probably the most repeatedly listened album in the last few months. Three Ghost Rags may be the most famous one, but there are lots of wonderful compositions.

Raggin' Rudi
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgP3jaHHaQA

Last Rag from Three Popular Rags
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeYOs28y4ko

Another excellent contemporary rags by John Musto. Unfortunatelly, only 2 of them have been recorded.

Regrets
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8cGMjuFt4o

In Stride
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzqqKqCVMA8

Are there good modern / contemporary rag recordings? It is difficult to find them, but it seems there are composers who are still writing rags.

Offline schnittkease

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Re: The Ragtime Parlor
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2018, 09:15:25 AM »
Not a question for me to answer. I have yet to explore Bolcom's rags, but I know Kats-Chernin has written a few.

Offline torut

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Re: The Ragtime Parlor
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2018, 09:07:53 PM »
Not a question for me to answer. I have yet to explore Bolcom's rags, but I know Kats-Chernin has written a few.

I didn't know about Kats-Chernin. I listened to Russian Rag, which seemed her most famous rag. A fine, melancholic piece. Thank you. The album Ragtime & Blue looks nice.

Offline torut

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Re: The Ragtime Parlor
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2018, 06:10:41 PM »
I listened to Kats-Chernin's Ragtime & Blue. The album includes rags and non-rag works, played by solo piano or piano violin duo. The overall mood is rather monotonous, and violin makes it too romantic (for my taste), but I liked the solo piano rags. I think ragtime's rhythm and syncopation save the music from indulging in too much sentimentality.

I am also looking for a good recording of Joplin's piano rolls. Some samples at Amazon and Google Play do not sound good. The audio quality is bad, and the playing is sloppy. (The instrument's issue?) However, there are good recordings uploaded at youtube. Good sound, steady tempo, spirited performance. I don't know which album to choose.

Offline schnittkease

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Re: The Ragtime Parlor
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2018, 05:24:37 PM »
I'm interested in Joplin's piano rolls as well.

Offline schnittkease

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Re: The Ragtime Parlor
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2018, 04:16:13 AM »
Hope to order a few Archeophone discs in the next few days.  I'm eyeing the Billy Murray anthology.

Offline torut

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Re: The Ragtime Parlor
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2018, 06:31:15 PM »
I've been listening to Folkways ragtime piano recordings. There are really nice collections from early days to mid 20th c. Early Ragtime Piano (1913-1930) and Late Ragtime Piano (1930s-1950s) are good compilations including works of many composers.

Offline torut

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Re: The Ragtime Parlor
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2018, 08:06:22 PM »
I'm interested in Joplin's piano rolls as well.

Biograph's The Greatest Ragtime of the Century includes Joplin's piano-roll recordings of 3 works: Maple Leaf Rag, Weeping Willow Rag and Something Doing. The sound quality is good. The tempo is a bit slow compared with most of late performers, but the playing is vivid. The other tracks (Johnson, Blake, Morton, etc.) are also excellent.


Offline king ubu

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Re: The Ragtime Parlor
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2018, 09:08:26 PM »
I'd assume this can be found in the 1$ bins in the US:



Good stuff - and the real stuff, too!

And if you want to place it in context and read thought-provoking stuff about it all, I highly recommend Allen Lowe's four volume "That Devilin' Tune" (WHRA, four boxes of 9 CDs each, with expansive liners) - Vol. 1 has the early stuff (late 19c into the 20s):



Not sure they can still be found, but they're worth hunting for!
Es wollt ein meydlein grasen gan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Und do die roten röslein stan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Fick mich mehr, du hast dein ehr.
Kannstu nit, ich wills dich lern.
Fick mich, lieber Peter!

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Offline torut

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Re: The Ragtime Parlor
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2018, 04:21:44 PM »
Volume 2-4 of That Devilin' Tune are available for download at Google Play ($9.49 for each volume). Vol. 2 (1927-34) has some rag tunes. There is no liner notes, but I found a book of the same name by Allen Lowe. (Same contents?) Looks interesting.

Offline king ubu

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Re: The Ragtime Parlor
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2018, 08:57:21 AM »
Volume 2-4 of That Devilin' Tune are available for download at Google Play ($9.49 for each volume). Vol. 2 (1927-34) has some rag tunes. There is no liner notes, but I found a book of the same name by Allen Lowe. (Same contents?) Looks interesting.
I think the book is the same but don't know for sure ... don't have it as I have the four boxes with booklets  :)
Es wollt ein meydlein grasen gan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Und do die roten röslein stan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Fick mich mehr, du hast dein ehr.
Kannstu nit, ich wills dich lern.
Fick mich, lieber Peter!

http://ubus-notizen.blogspot.ch/

bwv 1080

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Re: The Ragtime Parlor
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2018, 09:30:03 AM »
I know, not jazz per se, but an important predecessor of it. Regarded by some as the first distinctly American form of music.

I've been getting to know ragtime over the past couple months - not just the "Big Three," but some popular songs as well. So far Gussie L. Davis with his tearjerkers haven't disappointed, and a few pre-1922 Irving Berlin hits are pleasant. Not into any particular singer(s) at the moment, just composers and their respective works.

As I'm still learning, I thought it would be a decent idea to set up this thread as a place to discuss ragtime. When I learn of new pieces that I like especially I will post them here.

Oh, and let's try to stay away from "coon songs."

The first distinctly American music would be Minstrelsy from the mid-1800s including Stephen Foster

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/rxW8z56piFk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/rxW8z56piFk</a>

There is a great discussion of Minstrelsy by Rhiannon Giddens beginning at about 2:00 in the below video

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/N7SWUCpHme8" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/N7SWUCpHme8</a>

Offline king ubu

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Re: The Ragtime Parlor
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2018, 09:45:52 AM »
You may forget that America had music going on long before pale-faced long-nosed folks with weird beliefs were driven out of yurp and started their slaughtering (there's people arguing that the oldest forms of blues - the ones heard in recordings by Robert Johnson and others - are actually based on traditional chanting rhythms used by natives) - music that has been brought down to us cannot be reconstructed (no matter if HIP or not) I know, but still, I don't like that type of sentences ("the first originary ...") - none us were there (I think  ;) )
Es wollt ein meydlein grasen gan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Und do die roten röslein stan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Fick mich mehr, du hast dein ehr.
Kannstu nit, ich wills dich lern.
Fick mich, lieber Peter!

http://ubus-notizen.blogspot.ch/

Offline schnittkease

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Re: The Ragtime Parlor
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2018, 01:40:53 PM »
The first distinctly American music would be Minstrelsy from the mid-1800s including Stephen Foster

My statement above is definitely exaggerated. I assume that by "Minstrelsy" you refer to (blackface) minstrel songs, which isn't exactly a new form of music as it is a tradition. There was also some blurring of lines around the turn of the century (i.e. compositions with the principal characteristic of ragtime -- syncopation -- could interchangeably be called minstrel songs because of their use in such shows).
« Last Edit: September 10, 2018, 01:49:41 PM by schnittkease »