Milton Kaye

The Classic Rags of Joe Lamb

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This set is quite special for it was the first full album featuring the rags of Joseph Lamb, one of the "big three" (along with Scott Joplin and James Scott) of ragtime. Milton Kaye, a classical pianist with a strong interest in ragtime, does an excellent job of interpreting 13 Lamb rags, roughly half of his entire output (much of which is rarely performed). He adds some tasteful and logical variations of his own to some of the repeated themes and follows Lamb's instructions which on a few songs allow him to change the tempos of some of the themes (rather than playing every song all the way through at the same tempo). This release (which preceded the ragtime "fad" started by the movie The Sting by a year) is actually a two-LP set. The second album is blank on one side while the flip side has a very interesting verbal discussion by Milton Kaye and writer Rudi Blesh about the life and music of Joseph Lamb. Since it is doubtful that this valuable recording will be reissued any time soon, any ragtime fans lucky enough to run across the set are advised to grab it!