Gershwin, Fats Waller, Ellington, Gottschalk, Cowell, Nancarrow, Jelly Roll Morton, Scott Joplin, etc

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Cowell,Ellington,etc,Fats Waller,Gershwin,Gottschalk,Jelly Roll Morton,Nancarrow,Scott Joplin
LABELS: Argo
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Fascinatin’ Rhythm
WORKS: Works by Gershwin, Fats Waller, Ellington, Gottschalk, Cowell, Nancarrow, Jelly Roll Morton, Scott Joplin,
PERFORMER: Alan Feinberg (piano), Daniel Druckman (marimba)
CATALOGUE NO: 444 457-2 DDD
What a great idea! ‘Fascinatin’ Rhythm’ is a kind of ‘America answers back’. In the early part of the 20th century, America was teeming with virtuosi composer-pianists, particularly in popular music and especially among black pianists, who were willing and able to counter any notion that virtuoso piano playing was a European phenomenon.

Advertisement

Alan Feinberg has had the inspiring notion of bringing together on one disc examples of this vibrant scene juxtaposing Gershwin with other jazz greats and composers as wide-ranging as Gottschalk, Nancarrow and Grainger. It’s a heady mix of 23 tracks, with a generous disc duration.

Advertisement

Feinberg has the chops for this exhilarating toe-tapping, finger-snapping music, but I did wonder whether some of his readings weren’t a little bit ‘straight’. Occasionally I yearned for a little more smoke and a little more sleaze for instance in Bud Powell’s ‘Dusk in Sandi’ and Fats Waller’s ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’’ – this music is all about nuance and suggestion. But Feinberg’s finger dexterity is completely breathtaking. A bright, hard-edged sound balance gives more of a ‘serious’ than ‘popular’ ambience.