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Rick Jay Plays Poker

7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 13, 2007
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$104.78 $14.95

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Ricky Jay combines his talents as a sleight of hand expert, historian of cons and cheats, and lover of poker and poker music in this remarkable CD/DVD deluxe set that celebrates the history, the language and literature, the art and the music of poker. 21 songs of hustlers, reprobates, blacklegs, scallywags and the passions and pleasures of the game. The deluxe gift box also includes a bonus dvd starring Ricky Jay performing some unbelievable deception at the card table, a 72 page color book with an in-depth essay written by Jay and beautiful reproductions from his incredible collection of art and memorabilia and - if all that weren't enough - a custom poker pack from the U. S. Playing Card Company.

This royal flush of a card sharp's compilation provides an inspired soundtrack for magician Ricky Jay's poker obsession. The game (blood sport?) offers common thematic ground for blues king Robert Johnson, country queen Patsy Cline, folk great Bob Dylan, soul legend O.V. Wright, and the high bluegrass harmonies of the Country Gentlemen. The selection additionally extends from call-and-response musicals (Howard Da Silva's "Politics and Poker") to TV (Lorne "Bonanza" Greene's "Five Card Stud") to Irish balladry ("Dolan's Poker Party"). The same song--"Ace in the Hole" (not the George Strait country favorite)--receives dramatically different readings from the sultry Anita O'Day and the gravel-voiced Dave Van Ronk. Listening to Townes Van Zandt's allegorical "Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold," you can't help thinking that poker is the perfect metaphor for life (or perhaps that life is the perfect metaphor for poker). --Don McLeese

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Darktown Poker Club - Phil Harris
  2. Ramblin' Gamblin' Willie - Bob Dylan
  3. Turn The Cards Slowly - Patsy Cline
  4. Five Card Stud - Lorne Green
  5. Don't Turn The Card - Memphis Minnie
  6. Politics & Poker - Howard Da Silva
  7. Ace In The Hold - Anita O'day
  8. Little Queen Of Spades - Robert Johnson
  9. Etienne Gonna Die - Saint Etienne
  10. Mr. Mudd & Mr. Gold - Townes Van Zandt
  11. Poker Playing Baby - Harris Willis
  12. Gambler's Guitar - Merle Travis
  13. Darktown Poker Club - Bert Williams
  14. Dolan's Poker Party - Frank Crumit
  15. Poker Woman Blues - Blind Blake
  16. Wild Card - Tex Williams
  17. Ace Of Spades - O.V. Wright
  18. The Roving Gambler - Country Gentlemen
  19. Bedspring Poker - Mississippi Sheiks
  20. Ace In The Hole - Dave Van Ronk
  21. Politics & Poker (Reprise) - Howard Da Silva

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 13, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • ASIN: B000HT2MB4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,161 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Thelonious on March 1, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ricky Jay is great. How I would love to hang out around the card table and listen to his stories! This is probably as close as I'll ever get and it's just not enough!

The musical selections and the liner notes on the CD are superb. I'm a music collector, so many of the selections were familiar, but there are some nice surprises here and it's wonderful to have them all collected in one place. The packaging is also quite nice (though I'm not sure I need a deck of cards - it does make a nice touch).

My primary motivation in picking this up, however, was the DVD (spurred on by the tantalizing clip provided above). While it was every bit as fascinating as I'd hoped, it was a bit short (less than 30 minutes). Oddly enough, the clip used to promote it does NOT appear on the DVD!! Even without that fairly obvious clue, it is apparent that there is a lot more footage from the session, so why not include more?? The DVD almost comes off as a promo/teaser for a much larger project. In that sense, it was disappointing, so I docked it a star.

Nevertheless, if you like a good cross-genre thematic compilation and some great backroom double-dealing and story-swapping, don't pass this up.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The music is good, but the DVD is top notch. It's informal, it's funny, it's filled with astounding feats accompanied by the wit and wonder by the verbose virtuoso that is Ricky Jay. The man is a treasure and I'm glad he put out this multimedia volume, which tackles the age old question "If you're so good with cards in magic tricks, could you cheat at poker?"
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David L. Myhre on July 17, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ricky Jay has become the master...his art appears to be at an apex when you would think it would be in decline...the DVD is worth the price of admission....the CD is fine....the book is spectaular....finally a package suitable for his talent.... and satisfying for a fan.....bravo... he will only tape and release his upcoming revival of "52 Pick Up" in LA... for those of us unable to travel to either New York or Los Angeles......
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rosemary Purrazzella on March 24, 2007
Format: Audio CD
My husband and I are Ricky Jay fans. We have seen his show Ricky Jay and his 52 assistants. The songs are about poker and cardplaying and are well done. The dvd is even better because it shows his skill. I wouldn't recommend the music unless you are a follower of his work, though, because it isn't exceptional except for topic.
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