Gershwin: Havanola; Singin’ the Blues; From Now On; Jaz-O-Mine; Just Snap Your Fingers; Whip-Poor-Will,

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COMPOSERS: Gershwin
LABELS: Nonesuch
ALBUM TITLE: Gershwin: Piano Rolls, Vol. 2
WORKS: Havanola; Singin’ the Blues; From Now On; Jaz-O-Mine; Just Snap Your Fingers; Whip-Poor-Will,
CATALOGUE NO: 7559-79370-2 DDD
Gershwin isn’t my poison at all, but he’s a fact of life. Although he wrote the best-selling song ‘Swanee’ in 1919, aged 20, he really became rich and famous with the musical Lady Be Good!, whose original numbers included not only ‘Fascinatin’ Rhythm’, but also ‘The Man I Love’, dropped because it was thought too ‘depressing’. This disc presents a different Gershwin altogether – the hardworking, wenching piano basher churning out all the popular songs of the late Teens and Twenties. Ragtime dominates. The booklet gives lots of technical and sociological background but doesn’t seem to explain how he managed to put down so many notes at once. Who knows how accurate a picture of his playing these elaborately doctored realisations are? Adrian Jack

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