Fond Memories of This Work,
This review is from: Heliotrope Bouquet Piano Rags (Vinyl)
This was the first ragtime album I ever owned, not long after it was released in the very early '70s. I had a G.E. portable record player (that's what we used to call them then), and I wore my copy of this album out. Literally. A few years later I replaced it with a new copy that I played only once to record to cassette tape. I pulled it out a few years ago and transferred it to CD-R with a set top recorder, which I then transferred to iTunes so I could listen to it on my iPod. The pressing held up remarkably well considering it's 40 years old. No clicks or pops!
I've never heard a better version of "The Easy Winners" than the one on this album. The pacing, the increased intensity near the end -- it sounds like Joplin himself was playing it, with Bolcom's complete familiarity with the piece giving it just the right amount of emphasis and feeling. "A Ragtime Nightmare", "Pork and Beans", "Seabiscuits" and "Brass Knuckles" are also long-time favorites. All the pieces are more expressive than the usual mechanical, metronome-enslaved style that other ragtime players often seem to fall victim to. They just don't record 'em like this anymore.
I would be thrilled if this could be remastered and released on CD or even as an MP3 album. Who knows who owns the rights this now, but if they are listening......hey, looks like you've got at least four sales here! ;o)