Thatís Going Some
Heliotrope Ragtime Orchestra
Stomp Off CD1427
Lucyís Sextette / Back Home in Tennessee / Palm Leaf Rag / Heíd Have to Get Under Ė Get Out and Get Under* / Georgia Sunset / La Rumba / Kinklets / Take Me to the Land of Jazz* / Thatís-a-Plenty / Suwanee Echoes / Baltimore Todolo / Do You Take This Woman For Your Lawful Wedded Wife?* / Jamaica Jinjer / Egyptia / American Beauty Rag / At the Moving Picture Ball* / Hilarity Rag / Dengozo / Bugle Call Rag / Red Wing / Chills and Fever Rag / Alabama Jubilee. (*Vocal)
The Heliotrope Ragtime Orchestra, under the co-batons of Bruce Vermazen and Bob Pinsker, has released its second CD, which is good news. Itís good for the orchestra, because they obviously enjoy the performances; itís good for the dancers, because this is definitely danceable music; and itís good for ragtime lovers, because the disc is chock-full of great ragtime and other tunes from that early era. It also gives an affirmative answer to a question posed in the review of their first CD (ďItís A Bear!,Ē Stomp Off CD 1411), as to whether the HRO would continue or not.
Period arrangements which favor a full orchestral sound are used throughout, giving very few opportunities for individual instruments to solo. Tempos are uniformly appropriate and are consistent within each number, making this a perfect recording for dancers. The vocals are pleasant and offer clever lyrics such as were popular in the early decades of the 20th century, although Do You Take This Woman For Your Lawful Wedded Wife? paints a dismal picture of marriage with much male sophomoric humor which may offend the distaff listeners.
One-steps and two-steps predominate, but there are also foxtrots, tangos and a lovely syncopated waltz (Suwanee Echoes). Every selection is done right, but, in addition to the waltz, I especially liked Lucyís Sextette (Harry Alford), with its moaning trombone; the happy, upbeat sounds of Hilarity Rag (James Scott); and the trumpet work on Bugle Call Rag (Eubie Blake & Carey Morgan). Also worthy of a gold star was Pinskerís piano solo on Eubieís Baltimore Todolo!
Well-written liner notes, intimate recorded sound and classy cover art
add to the quality of this release. Many
of us were saddened when Vermazenís Chrysanthemum Ragtime Band ceased
recording, so itís a pleasure that he and Pinsker have filled the void with
the Heliotrope Ragtime Orchestra. Lucky
are the folks who live in
Available for $16.00 postpaid from Stomp Off Records,