Hank Jones

This Is Ragtime Now

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This ABC-Paramount LP looks better than it is. With Hank Jones on piano, bassist Milt Hinton on bass, and drummer Osie Johnson, this trio, which worked as a rhythm section together on countless music dates of many styles during the 1950s and 1960s, obviously had what it took. But Jones is stuck on a campy honky tonk piano instead of a grand piano on the first half of the LP, so the performances tend to sound a lot like the cornucopia of similar records made by pianists not in the leader's league. But the trio makes its best effort and succeeds in spite of the inferior keyboard, with Jones even suggesting a banjo or harpsichord at times in the midst of his arrangements. He doesn't just touch on the best-known rags, adding obscure tunes by Scott Joplin, Joseph Lamb, and Joseph Northrup. Two modern rags, "Jazz Mag Rag" by composer/arranger Manny Albam and "Bag o' Rags" by Jones, seamlessly fit in with the earlier works. Long out of print, this record can probably be tracked down with some effort.

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