This collection contains rare blues and boogie woogie piano roll solos recorded for the QRS Music Roll Company. Cow Cow Davenport, James P. Johnson and Clarence Williams achieved national prominence and recorded for major labels. Jimmy Blythe, Hersal Thomas, Clarence Johnson, Everett Robbins and Lemuel Fowler, although not as well known, were equally as masterful in their performances. From the archives of Biograph Records.
Personnel: Clarence Williams, Everett Robbins, Hersal Thomas, James P. Johnson, Jimmy Blythe, Lem Fowler (vocals).
Liner Note Author: Barbara Caplin.
Recording information: Chicago, IL (09/1922-12/1928); Cinn., OH (09/1922-12/1928); Cinncinati, OH (09/1922-12/1928); New York, NY (09/1922-12/1928).
Unknown Contributor Roles: Mike Montgomery; Cow Cow Davenport.
Biograph has come out with many releases of piano rolls through the years. This CD has some by Cow Cow Davenport, James P. Johnson, Clarence Williams, Jimmy Blythe, Hersal Thomas, Lemuel Fowler and two totally forgotten names: Everett Robbins and Clarence Johnson. As is usual with piano rolls, the rhythms are inflexible and the touch a bit unnatural so it may take listeners a while to get used to these performances. The emphasis is more on blues than on boogie-woogie but in general the music is fine for this idiom although not as lively as real piano solos. ~ Scott Yanow