Various Artists

Rags to Rhythms

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Rags to Rhythms Review

by Scott Yanow

This is an interesting but odd reissue CD. The first 11 selections are mostly rarities from the ragtime era (1906-1913) including Jim Europe's Society Orchestra ("Down Home Rag"), three banjo showcases, two piano solos and a xylophone feature on "Dill Pickles Rag." However, the remaining seven recordings are from the 1920s and, although "Rag" appears in all of their titles, the music (by the likes of King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton and the New Orleans Rhythm Kings) is actually early jazz and mostly available elsewhere. This project would have been more significant if it had stuck exclusively with pre-1915 material.

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