Artis Wodehouse

Zez Confrey: Piano Rolls and Scores

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AllMusic Review by

Edward Elzear "Zez" Confrey is the acknowledged father of the novelty ragtime idiom. His music is an amalgam of French impressionism, Victorian-era parlor piano, and the syncopated rhythms of ragtime. This Artis Wodehouse production, Zez Confrey Piano Rolls and Scores, utilizes a method similar to that of her previous releases drawn from piano rolls with one important distinction: in cases where Confrey left no roll of a certain piece, Wodehouse has recorded the work herself on a Disklavier and edited it. The transition from Confrey's own roll performances and Wodehouse's re-programmed interpretations of his published pieces is seamless. Zez Confrey Piano Rolls and Scores includes Confrey's usual suspects, such as Kitten on the Keys, Stumbling, and Dizzy Fingers, in addition to other titles that are less familiar but equally engaging. There is also a selection of Confrey's best work as a roll editor of tunes written by others. The disc makes a strong argument for the piano roll arrangement as the best medium for the transmission of Confrey's sparkling and effervescent music. Zez Confrey Piano Rolls and Scores' 23 selections go by in a flash and listeners will want to hear it again and again.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:38
2
2:34
3 2:50
Three Little Oddities, suite for piano
4 1:49
5 2:41
6 2:25
7
2:45
African Suite, for piano
8 2:18
9 2:48
10 3:22
11 1:48
12 3:19
13 2:32
14 2:23
15 3:01
16 3:11
17 2:37
18 3:14
19 2:19
20 2:10
21 2:40
Moods of a New Yorker, suite for piano
22 1:52
23 4:24
blue highlight denotes track pick