Various Artists

The Entertainer: The Music of Scott Joplin

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Here's a very interesting collection and concept -- the music of Scott Joplin interpreted by not a single American musician or piano player, but instead European acoustic guitarists. The result is a delightful recording of Joplin's music played in different ways with timbres and tones not attainable on the 88s. It might be, for some, a bastardization, but the listening experience, once prejudice is shelved, is truly heartwarming. Lars Johansson is heard on a whopping seven numbers, with Ton Engels and Jim McLennan getting two apiece, and everybody else with a one-shot. A most surprising and witty album, this is one that comes highly recommended to anyone who appreciates vintage American music in the original ragtime-cum-jazz style. It's a beauty.

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