So Good I had to buy the complete set.
Barthbill | lowse ahnhaylayse | 11/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After hearing Mr Zimmerman live, I bought this album. It is superb. I ended up buying the complete piano works of Joplin played by Zimmerman.
Mr Zimmerman is a happy man, and it shows in his playing. It is technically perfect as anyone, but has a Joi de Vivre that is involving and contagious.
My other Joplin albums are by Joshua Rifkin, who is very thoughtful, intellectual and introspective, but no less involving. A Joplin lover should have both. Both approaches let the music shine, and illustrate the depth of Joplin's talent."
Panochey | Alta California | 12/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are three ideas, tied inexorably together, when I listen to Richard Zimmerman play Joplin. The first is of a player piano. If you've never heard the real deal, I strongly urge you to go find one so you understand the sound. Be sure that it's an old player, at least a hundred years old. It, like a fine wine, will have aged and have a slightly tinny sound. Then sit and listen carefully. Listen for what you may ask?
The next idea in this is the first book even published of Kurt Vonnegut. It's called Player Piano. It's a story that deals with the value of man and the use (and abuse) of his "best moments", as in the recording of a player piano roll. The roll captures the very best a man has to offer, a distillate of his soul. (As an aside, buy and read the book. Good books, and the ideas behind them, don't go out of style.)
And the last piece of the puzzle comes from Richard Zimmerman. I had inherited a copy of this CD some years back and have enjoyed it overall, but the one song that stood out for me was "Bethena". This is ragtime I asked myself? I have listened to this song for years and had only known Richard's version. The first time I heard someone else's I found myself shouting at the recording, "YOU'RE PLAYING IT WRONG!!!"
What was different? The piano player in the second recording played the notes, not the song. He, (or she), missed what I had unknowingly enjoyed in Richard's performance all these years. Nuance, cadence, spryness, languidness, it's all here, or should I say hear? As with Vonnegut's book, I feel there is something obscene, something I'm stealing from the man every time I hear Bethena play. I get his soul, poured out into the song, I have his finest moment, like the recordings of a player piano roll. And that's just one song on this CD. If you're on a budget, buy this CD. If you have some folding dead presidents, buy Scott Joplin: His Complete Works. And don't forget to book some time sitting and listening to that old roll player. There's a man's soul in there.