Various Artists

Italian String Virtuosi

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Though "virtuosi" is overstating the case, this very pleasant recording also documents a pretty much totally forgotten branch of hyphenated-American music. The 1920s and ‘30s mandolin, banjo and guitar players here come from a fairly polished professional urban-popular background and with the exception of one splendid family group they mostly play the repertoire (which includes ragtime-influenced numbers, at least one tango and even "Keyboard Kapers") with more skill than dash.

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