Few composers have been able to bridge the worlds of jazz and classical music as successfully as William Bolcom. Born in Seattle, Bolcom studied with Darius Milhaud at Mills College and the Paris Conservatoire. He was introduced to the music of the profoundly influential ragtime composer Scott Joplin in 1967. Since then Bolcom has been a tireless advocate for the music both as a composer and performer. This two disc set features Bolcom the ragtime composer with nearly two dozen rags for piano.
Pianist John Murphy first performed a Bolcom rag in recital in 1989, the location was Rustavelli Hall in Tbilisi, Georgia of the former Soviet Union. Murphy must have made quite an impression because he is a pianist of formidable skill. Many of Bolcom's rags pay homage to the older generation of composer/performers, most notably "Eubie's Lucky Day," a tribute to the legendary Eubie Blake. Bolcom's rags are filled with fiery energy and complex syncopation, a real treat for lovers of virtuoso piano music.