- Released: March 25, 2008
- Originally Released: 2008
- Label: Collectables Records
Description by OLDIES.com:
Before radio and television, the piano was the home entertainment center. Featured are classic songs from that era by the accomplished pianist James P. Johnson from original piano rolls. From the vaults of Biograph Records.
JazzTimes - 6/99, p.104
"...a welcome reminder of [Johnson's] importance as a composer....The recording is good and the tempos...seem better than on most records of this kind..."
- 1.Stop It
- 2.When It's Cherry Time In Tokio
- 4.Caprice Rag
- 5.Caprice Rag (Take 2)
- 8.Carolina Shout
- 9.Don't Tell Your Monkey Man
- 10.It Takes Love To Cure The Heart's Disease
- 11.Loveless Love
- 12.Doctor Jazzes Raz-Ma-Taz
Solo performer: James P. Johnson (piano).
Recorded in Detroit, Michigan on June 6 & 7, 1970 and November 21, 1972. Includes liner notes by Chris Albertson.
The great stride pianist James P. Johnson recorded quite a few piano rolls, starting in 1917. Biograph has reissued a few CDs of this material, which was mostly recorded off of player pianos back in 1970 and 1972. As is usual with most piano rolls, one cannot always trust that the music was solely performed by just one pianist; some of the passages clearly sound like three or four hands playing at once. In addition, the rhythms can be rather mechanical, particularly compared to Johnson's recorded piano solos. However what is most intriguing about these piano rolls are the large number of selections that Johnson never recorded: songs such as "When It's Cherry Time in Tokio," "It Takes Love to Cure the Heart's Disease" and "Doctor Jazzes Raz-Ma-Taz!" In addition, the alternate versions of "Eccentricity," "Fascination" and particularly Johnson's signature piece "Carolina Shout" (the latter was an inspiration for Duke Ellington) are well worth hearing despite the idiom's limitations. ~ Scott Yanow