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Perfessor Bill Edwards, ragtime pianist

GUEST,Josepp 18 Nov 11 - 06:38 PM
GUEST,leeneia 18 Nov 11 - 09:12 PM
GUEST,josepp 18 Nov 11 - 09:28 PM
Will Fly 19 Nov 11 - 08:13 AM
GUEST,josepp 19 Nov 11 - 01:52 PM
kendall 19 Nov 11 - 03:15 PM
Will Fly 19 Nov 11 - 07:31 PM
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Subject: Perfessor Bill
From: GUEST,Josepp
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 06:38 PM

Just received a shipment of CDs from Perfessor Bill Edwards (misspelling intentional), a great modern ragtime pianist. I ordered 3--"Ragz", "Rapid Fire Ragtime" and "A Bag of Rags." He has many more. Many, many more. But anyway, this guy is a first rate pianist. His website below is a treasure trove of ragtime--sheet music covers, digital samples of the songs as he plays them. His knowledge of ragtime structure and theory is also first rate. You can't do a freebie download of the samples, I already tried. But you can order CDs or download the files directly with a credit card. I'll definitely be going back for more later on. There's so much there that it's hard to just order a couple of things and then walk away. The great thing is, you can hear dozens and dozens of rags that you might have read about but never heard before. This website is itself a valuable ragtime source so if you're a ragtime fan or old-time music fan like me, show the Perf how much you appreciate his efforts and get something--you won't be sorry. This guy can play!

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Subject: RE: Perfessor
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 09:12 PM

Hi, Josepp. I've had Perfessor Bil on my Favorites list for a long time. You're right, his site is great.

I belong to a society that sponsors ragtime music, and I've come to appreciate it very much.

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Subject: RE: Perfessor
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 09:28 PM

Hi leeneia,

I think the ragtime era is the most musically fascinating period of America's cultural history in part because it joins minstrelsy to jazz by mixing with blues to form Dixeland and also was a key link to the formation of rocknroll. Bluegrass as well since many bluegrass numbers are, in fact, rags.

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Subject: RE: Perfessor Bill Edwards, ragtime pianist
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 08:13 AM

Hi Josepp - have you read "They All Played Ragtime" by Sam Charters? One of my favourite books - and containing my first introduction to Jelly Roll Morton by including some sheet music of his in the appendix - which I laboriously worked out by guitar many, many years ago!

One of the great things about SC's book is that, written in the '50s, he was closer to the music and the people than anyone who could write about it today - and got lots of good info first hand from the people concerned.

Makes me wish that Louis Chauvin had been able to write music, though...

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Subject: RE: Perfessor Bill Edwards, ragtime pianist
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 01:52 PM

Hi Will,

I have a copy of "They All Played Ragtime" and it was written by Rudi Blesh. Must be a different book. It was out of print at the time I bought it, I found it in a used bookstore but I just did a check on Amazon and they are offering it so maybe it came back into print.

Blesh was the guy who tracked down Joseph Lamb. Nobody in the ensuing years after ragtime were sure if Lamb really existed and some thought he was Joplin under a pseudonym!! Even stranger that Lamb was still very much alive udring all this speculation!

If you like Jelly Roll, get the Biograph label CD of his piano rolls pumped by Mike Montgomery--a friend of mine. Mike is one of the people who helped revive ragtime. He supplied some of the photos that appear in "They All Played Ragtime." He's also friends with Trebor Tichener--another ragtime scholar who has authored books on the subject. A terrific pianist in his own right, Mike is a walking encyclopedia of ragtime and old-time music. You just name a song from that era, he'll dash it off on the piano for you.

Louis Chauvin's music is largely lost but there are three surviving pieces. You can get all three on Reginald Robinson's CD "Euphonic Sounds." Also on that CD is a fragment of a hitherto unknown Joplin piece. They discovered it in a photo taken by Lottie Joplin at the request of Brun Campbell. She spread some of his manuscripts over his piano and took a pic. One of the manuscripts turned out to be something no one had ever seen before. Reginald and an artist out of Chicago named Chris Ware discovered it and went to Fisk Univerity to see the original photo and used a magnifying glass to transcribe it. Judging from the dynamism of the fragment, they suppose it is a later composition and not a rag. It has words but they are indistinct. Since Joplin only wrote words for his operas, this may be something he wrote for "Treemonisha" but then removed it. Hard to say.

I had a correspondence with Chris for a while. He showed me a photo of the Queen City Cornet Band from the 1890s. The man on the far right is said by some to be Joplin. I blew up the man's face and compared it to the earliest known photo of Joplin--the one on the sheet music cover of "Swipesy Cakewalk." My conclusion was that, as far I could tell, the man indeed appeared to be Joplin. Chris agreed with me and said he was trying to find the original photo. I don't know if he ever did. I met him through Mike Montgomery. I wrote to Reginald for a copy of his CD which he sent along with a short note apologizing for the delay as he was out touring. Chris also sent me Guido Neilson's CD of Joseph Lamb material.

I also picked up some stuff from another friend of Mike's and Chris's named Dennis Pash of the Etcetera String Band. One was a CD but the other was a cassette. I asked him if he had any plans to convert that one to CD but I never got a reply. Mike told me later that Pash was so busy that he couldn't get in touch with him.

I wouldn't be surprised is the Perfessor is a friend of Mike's as well. Also kudos to him for playing so many of the old rags written by women. There were A LOT of rags written by women but, for some reason, they have been ignored despite their influence and voluminous contribitions. Max Morath also did a CD called "The Ragtime Women" but, of course, there's a lot more stuff than that. It barely scratched the surface.

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Subject: RE: Perfessor Bill Edwards, ragtime pianist
From: kendall
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 03:15 PM

Glenn Jenks of Camden Maine is the best ragtime pianist I have ever heard.

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Subject: RE: Perfessor Bill Edwards, ragtime pianist
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 07:31 PM

My lousy memory, Josepp - Rudi Blesh it was. Which is annoying as I have a book somewhere by SC - and I'm damned if I can remember what it was now!

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