Missing You at the McCoys
Nan Bostick, with Tom Brier, pianos
Bay Sound Records BSR6945
That Missing You Rag / Original Rags* / X-N-Tric / The Classic Rag / Peaceful Henry* / Dill Pickles* / Woodland Dove* / Snowball Ragtime March* / Lindy March* / Chicken Chowder* / Innocence Valse / Meadow Lark Rag / Medley: You Tell Me Your Dream, Iíll Tell You Mine; Nadja; Moonlight & Roses; Sweet and Lovely / Idaho Rag* / Sutter Creek Strut* / Ragtime In Randall Rag / Bean Whistle Rag (2004 version)* / Bean Whistle Rag (Original 1974 recording). (*Duets with Tom Brier
Still mining the rich legacy of Charles N. Daniels, Nan Bostick, his grand-niece, has included many pieces associated with him, either as composer or publisher/promoter, on her latest CD. With the exception of Dill Pickles, which is played fast, the rest of the selections are taken at medium tempos, creating a mellow ambiance throughout. Bostick has a touch on the keyboard that is definitive but not overbearing. The duets with Tom Brier are especially nice. Brier uses a combination of parallel harmonics, fugue-like counter-melodies and appropriate fills and frills and never overpowers Bostick, who takes the lead each time. On her solos, Bostick can play commanding fortes but she is more apt to make her point musically with effective pianissimos.
She opens with her own composition, That Missing You Rag, a romantically lush piece built on the musical timing of the title, which is receiving attention from the ragtime community. Other discoveries include two interesting pieces by Daniels, The Classic Rag and Woodland Dove; a happy, folky Sutter Creek Strut by Gil Lieby; Tom Brierís Idaho Rag, with its minor A-section leading to a major conclusion; and Bostickís Ragtime in Randall, parts of which approach Terra Verde.
Probably the most unusual inclusion is Bostickís Bean Whistle Rag. The 2004 version is a catchy bit of musical fluff, but the addition of the 1974 version is interesting historically because it became a first-ever Moog synthesizer recording designed for quadraphonic broadcast (Gad! Synthesizer music is old enough to have a history!).
There is lots of good early stuff as well. I especially liked Harry Kellyís Peaceful Henry, Charlie Johnsonís Dill Pickles, and The Meadow Lark by Tom Pitts, with its well-placed staccatos and bird-like triplets. Contrarily, Irene Giblinís Chicken Chowder is unexpectedly slow, almost plodding, making it a weaker cut.
There is good sound from the vintage grand pianos and the excellent liner notes are filled with historical tidbits. This is a thoroughly enjoyable album of syncopated pieces, devoid of grandstanding or tricks and chock-full of luscious melodies. Nothing to blow your socks off, just fine, fine music from Nan Bostick and Tom Brier that gets under your skin. Recommended.
Available from www.cdbaby.com for $14.97 plus shipping.