"The Top Liner Rag"

Winter, 1998 edition
published by the Bohemia Ragtime Society

A Quick Look At Some Recent Releases

"Syncopated Odyssey"
- John Roache, Piano
by Nick Taylor

One of the original persons to experiment with electronic ragtime music, John has taken hold of the computer-age technology and "has created a virtual library of music (indeed, a library of virtual music) within the confines of his home studio." Performances are realized from edited MIDI sequences; putting it another way, with a computer, a digital stage piano, and an array of other equipment and software, John performs the skills of a master piano roll arranger. Well, so much for the "technical" aspects. But how does it sound?

Actually, I haven't heard any better. Maybe that's why John "is considered by those who know about MIDI sequencing to be at the very top of the list of practitioners." As the sub-title (From Joplin to Bolcom and Beyond) suggests, the range of compositions makes this a neat recording. The first third of the recording contains classic Joplin, folk, James P. Johnson's jazz waltz "Eccentricity" (with ideas from John Gill) and a novelty piece by Billy Mayerl. Moving to more recent times, there are pieces by William Bolcom, George McClellan, a nifty little rag by Hal Izbitz ("Palmetto Rag") and six jewels by Robin Frost (including "Rolling Avocado", "Occident Express", and his most popular rag, "Space Shuffle").

Try it; you'll like it!

"The Top Liner Rag"
published quarterly by the Bohemia Ragtime Society
5095 Picket Drive
Colorado Springs CO 80918
Editor, Nick Taylor
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