Dick Hyman has captored the essence of Scott Joplin...
aaron | 10/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jazz arranger and stride pianist Dick Hyman has captured the essence of Scott Joplin, playing such classics as "Maple Leaf Rag" and "The Entertainer," as well as many lesser known but still highly enjoyable tunes. Just like Joplin would say never play a rag too fast, Hyman plays at the perfect tempo, never too fast. Hyman proves not only to be a fine stride painist but a superb ragtime painist. Although there is no improvisation here, ragtime is completely written out, there is plenty of syncopation and joyous sounds here to keep the jazz collector happy. this CD is highly recomended as a great introduction to the music of Scott Joplin and the playing of Dick Hyman. Also try Dick Hyman's tribute CD to Fats Waller. And if you like Ragtime don't miss out on the incredible Paragon Ragtime Orchestra which re-creates bands like Arthur Pryor's Orchestra from the ragtime era."
Linus 71 | Germany | 11/13/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Don't get me wrong. Dick Hyman is really great in what he's doing. The pieces are brilliantly performed. But it's not my taste. He's playing 100s of staccatos where Scott Joplin never wrote a point on his sheets thus taking the drive off the songs. Songs and parts of songs that should sound strong just sound way too "dolce". All in all the whole cd is too soft and too slow. Yes, Scott Joplin said never play Ragtime too fast. But songs like the Entertainer or Elite Syncopations should in my opinion be played "faster" to have a drive. I used to play the songs myself. It's just more fun when you play them faster and louder - with more energy.
This cd is for you when you like quiet and mellow music and like to drink tea while listening to it.
If you like barrelhouse music - what ragtime is supposed to be - then buy another cd like "the Sting" soundtrack or Scott Joplin played by Richard Zimmerman."
Shut up and listen
Eric C. Sedensky | Madison, AL, US | 12/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not going to get into the argument about whether Scott Joplin should be played fast or slow, and which rags are at the roots of jazz and which are just hanging off the branches, and all that. All I'm going to say is that Dick Hyman is a big name, big talent, and it shows on this recording. Joplin's music is sometimes easy to gloss over, but Hyman gives it the attention it deserves, and, I feel, his interpretations are as good as any and probably better than most. This is a recording that is worthy of study, but you'll likely end up like me: just listening to it because it is so good and entertaining. All the familiar Joplin works, Maple Leaf Rag, Peacherine Rag, Palm Leaf Rag, The Entertainer, are here, as well as some less familiar songs, such as A Breeze from Alabama. There is almost an hour's worth of music here and while it isn't remastered or anything, the sound is excellent and well up to the RCA Victor standard of excellence. I would have preferred more thorough liner notes, but there is still plenty of information here. Ultimately, it comes down to the music and performer, both of which are top notch on this recording. Don't worry about whether this is "authentically true to the composer's intention" or not. Joplin isn't turning in his grave, so you might as well just sit back and enjoy this great work of art.