Customer Review

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ragtime to jazz, October 14, 2004
This review is from: Memphis Blues Band (Audio CD)
Magnificent performances that, to my ears, document the evolution of ragtime to jazz. "Fuzzy Wuzzy Rag" (a piece blatantly borrowed from "Maple Leaf Rag"!) may very well be an example of pre-Original-Dixieland-Jazz-Band jazz, albeit recorded after that group's first waxings. Delayed history, I'm guessing. If "Fuzzy Wuzzy" hasn't gotten its proper historical due, perhaps the title has something to do with it. (Couldn't the composer have called it "Omnivorous-Mammal Stomp," or something?) Seriously, "Fuzzy" is ragtime gone wild, lively and contrapuntal as can be. The Six Brown Brothers, cranked up. Paul Whiteman, wired. No improvisation within earshot, but much early jazz, after all, had precious little ad-libbing. First-rate musicianship, including a bowed double bass that apparently gave the 1917 recording horn fits. Columbia-label 78s from this period are no gift to modern pick-ups; in light of this, the restored sound is quite good. Handy's place in jazz history is due for reevaluation.
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4.1 out of 5 stars (8 customer reviews)
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