Dutchman | Florida,USA | 05/23/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Yes the intonation is bad, painful at times. The tempos are a tad slow - but it's hot in New Orleans and they tend to take tempos easier there. And yes I would recommend their "Creole Belles" album over this one.
But let's put it in historical perspective. Mr Edegran and company were presenting a music in the late 60's that was nearly forgotten in the pre "The Sting"/Entertainer days.
Yes the military band recordings (Sousa, Pryor, Victor Military Orch, Columbia, etc) of rags of the ragtime era are far more precise, but there were no 12 piece brass bands playing in nightclubs at the time.
In my opinion boys and girls, this group more consistently captured what we would have heard if we have been in a cabaret in St Louis or New Orleans in 1900 than any other.
Do you SERIOUSLY think the groups in some saloon with sawdust covered floors would have sounded like Gunther Schuller's New England Conservatory outfit? I think not.
So take it for what it is, a rough-edged group presenting what American ragtime sounded like for real people of the time, not some white bread, precision engineered modern representation.
It has its charms."
Neither graceful nor beautiful
"Gimpy" Peach Johnson | 12/07/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Here it is... the disc where classic rags crawl to die. Honestly, how this disc ever saw the light of day, I'll never know. Imagine, if you will, an average middle school band sight-reading through a dozen or so arrangements of classic rags for the first time and you'll have a pretty good idea of how this CD sounds. The New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra, pioneers though they may have been in recording "classic-style" band arrangements of piano rags in the 1960s, just don't cut it. Everything sounds out-of-tune, and the band lumbers slowly through each tune, with plenty of broken notes and uneven rhythms. These sound more like miserable funeral dirges than the joyous rags I know! Contentment has never sounded less content, Pleasant Moments sounds like a bad case of indigestion, and those "Creole Belles" are now cranky 90-year-old ladies pushing their walkers down the street. I've heard some bad ragtime recordings in my dozen or so years as a collector, but this qualifies as one of the all-time worst. I would give this one star, but the tunes are still recognizeable, and it is still a step above most of the absolute garbage being pumped out of popular music industry today, so I figure I'll err on the generous side and give it two. Give me the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra or the Ophelia Ragtime Orchestra *any* day. Avoid this CD."