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The Joy of Joplin


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Audio CD, November 3, 1998
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Audio, Cassette, November 3, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Roberts,Marcus ~ Joy Of Joplin

Amazon.com

On this recording, the tradition-conscious pianist Marcus Roberts delivers a satisfying and surprisingly modern take on ragtime composer Scott Joplin's music. Instead of performing like a human piano roll, Roberts--who has already recorded tributes to piano greats Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, and Jelly Roll Morton--interweaves ragtime with a number of musical genres. With an agile right hand that never sacrifices form for the sake of fluff, and a strong left hand that emulates the low-frequency tuba-bass beats central to the ragtime style, Roberts brings out the best of Joplin's compositions, including the stride/boogie-woogie interpolations on "The Entertainer," the strolling rhythms of "Bethena's Waltz," and the habanera-Spanish tinges of "The Magnetic Rag." Roberts's own compositions in the ragtime idiom reveal his rare gift for emulation and innovation, as evidenced by his Chopinesque and impressionistic "Hidden Hues"; the cascading,Teddy Wilson-ish runs on "Play What's Written"; the supersonic, swinging pace of "From Rags to Rhythm"; and the stop-and-start melody of "After the Party Is Over." --Eugene Holley Jr.

1. The Entertainer
2. Maple Leaf Rag
3. Everything's Cool
4. Hidden Hues
5. From Rags To Riches
6. The Easy Winners
7. Bethena's Waltz
8. Play What You Hear
9. Play What's Written
10. The Joy Of Joplin
11. Magnetic Rag
12. Elite Syncopation
13. Before The Party Begins
14. After The Party Is Over
15. Gladiolus Rag
16. Treemonisha: A Real Slow Drag

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 3, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000DI0M
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,119 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By nerdyguy1618 on December 2, 2003
Format: Audio CD
You might not want to buy this album if you're just looking for a CD of Joplin. But if you already love Joplin's music, and you like Marcus Roberts, this CD won't disappoint you.
Roberts' ragtime feel is great: I could listen to his left hand only all day long. But he then adds his own feel to it. In some cases I hear Ellington and Basie. He brings out the Caribbean sound in Easy Winners, and it makes me think of the piece differently now.
Marcus Roberts shows that you can make the classics new in every generation.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mom on June 25, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I like this album for the reasons that the Florida listener didn't. The freshness Roberts brings to these Rags has reawakened my interest in Joplin. Its also nice to here some new music inspired by Joplin. I even broke out the sheet music and revisited Maple Leaf myself with a new attitude. Joplin is in capable hands with Roberts. Though not a ground breaking effort it's certainly worthy of serious listening. If you want Joplin played in a more traditional way there's plenty of that around. By the way, I recommend the Butch Thompson album as well.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David Watts on December 2, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Having followed Marcus Roberts from day one, this is a welcome addition. Unlike the reviewer from Florida, I approached this as I do all of Robert's albums - from Roberts' persepctive. This isn't simply a Joplin album, it's Marcus Roberts playing Joplin, and it was unlikely to be like any other Joplin album out there.
Not that this is a totally unique experience, but it is one of the better solo Roberts albums out there. It is also less inclined to fall into Roberts only trap - technique over passion. Of previous recording I sometimes feel that Roberts tries so hard technically that he lacks the heart and soul of the music. He does a better job of that here.
In the liner notes he mentions Ellington and Bach as favorites. The Ellington album is out now, I wonder if Bach is next?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James on December 27, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Since there are no sound recordings of Joplin, any version of his work is naturally an interpretation of the written scores he left. Joplin's ragtime was the "precursor" to jazz. Jazz is an improvised music. Ragtime in Joplin's day was not. Roberts is a jazz pianist . He is from an entirely different musical climate and era than Joplin. Marcus Roberts does the composer justice in his creative and inspired 1998 disc, "The Joy of Joplin". If you want to hear "straight" Joplin, look elsewhere. If you want to clearly go "over the top", try "Spaghetti Rag: Rag Music with Mandolins" by Ermenegildo Carosio, et al.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The late Marvin Hamlisch reintroduced Joplin to the country, but Marcus Roberts reintroduces the mind to Joplin's World. Marcus with his genius breathes life renewed into Scott Joplin's syncopation of notes. The mind hears the notes, the rhythms and tells the fingers how to relay them to the piano so the ears can hear.
A modern day Amadeus with his abilities to mimic others style, Marcus is a hidden treasure.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Anything Roberts decides to put his hand to seems to be better than anyone else. He really does justice to Joplin's music and he has the style down cold. It's well worth a listen, maybe a few hundred listens.
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