Ragtime, which had largely died with Scott Joplin in 1917, did not begin a renaissance until Marvin Hamlisch used some of Joplin's compositions as the basis of his soundtrack to The Sting in 1973. Reginald R. Robinson, who coincidentally was born in 1973, quickly emerged not only as one of ragtime's top practitioners of the mid-'90s but (along with David Thomas Roberts) as its top contemporary composer. On his second Delmark release he performs 19 selections including Scott Joplin's "Peacherine Rag," a medley of turn-of-the-century pieces by Charles Johnson and 17 of his own compositions. Robinson does not feel the need to "update" ragtime but he does infuse it with many fresh new melodies and his enthusiasm. He also plays a bit of boogie and stride on this set but, since improvising is not his main forte, the emphasis fortunately is on extending the legacy of Scott Joplin. Ragtime fans should go out of their way to discover Robinson's music.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow