Various Artists

Late Band Ragtime

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This LP collection sort of traces the evolution of ragtime as played by bands over a three-decade period. Actually ragtime (other than "Maple Leaf Rag" which is represented here three times) had largely disappeared from American music by the early 1920's. The earlier recordings on the album have the flavor of ragtime while the later ones tend to be novelties (including Pee Wee Hunt's cornball hit version of "12th Street Rag" and the somewhat obnoxious "Hey Taxi" by Leroy Holmes' Tug Boat Eight). Better choices could have been made but there are a few gems here including Isham Jones' "Dog on the Piano," Ben Bernie's "Cannonball Rag" and Lu Watters' version of "Maple Leaf Rag."