Scott Joplin
The Entertainer (Fine Tune Gold Collection)


3.5
great

Review

by The Door Mouse USER (29 Reviews)
March 24th, 2007 | 10 replies | 6,058 views


Release Date: | Tracklist


When some one brings up the genre of ragtime to a musically intelligent person, 99% of the time, a man named Scott Joplin comes to mind. He single-handedly innovated a unique style of music that is nothing close to anything else. And when it skyrocketed at the turn of the 20th century with its rhythmic and catchy new sound that came out of nowhere, it was hard to not tolerate his music.

I couldn’t help but noticing while listening to this album how lively and somewhat youthful he plays the piano. It is as if his fingers are fluffy feathers gifted with swift and graceful movement along the ivories. Using a very staccato style in songs like “The Entertainer”, “Elite Syncopations” and “Fig Leaf Rag” one cannot help but tap his/her foot to any of these songs. He does a great job bringing up some liveliness by emphasizing the staccato and punchy notes. Now you may think to yourself that with all of these staccato notes that there is no room for smooth and flowing parts. He pulls that off too with songs like “Peacherine Rag” and “Swipesy”. He has the ability to make a speedy and enjoyable tune while mixing short and light notes with beautiful flowing ones.

Ragtime music itself is well known for very upbeat and syncopated rhythms and without it; it just would not be ragtime at all and, predictably, he does this exceptionally well. Now listing certain songs that standout with this quality would be extremely pointless mainly because I would end up listing the whole track list. This is truly a great contributor to the sound. There will be a steady harmony with an uneven and offbeat melody making this album even more rhythmic than it already is. That rhythm is a key suspect to what started the influential jazz movement.

The production for this album is flawless. It’s not perfectly clear and technical but that is what makes it so great because it is perfect for that sound. It is a bit fuzzy as if you were listening to it through a phonograph and I often visualize that I am in an old western bar in the 19th century and one just smashed a glass full of beer on an adversary’s head. The piano he is playing on doesn’t sound like a fine tune, crisp grand piano but rather an old, dusty, about-to-fall-apart sounding piano that a young, fledgling pianist stumbled upon and wants to toy with. The sound and the music truly go hand in hand.

Out of those three pros comes a con. Yeah the production is perfect, the flow is great and the syncopation makes it that much better but honestly this album gets really old and dull. 14 tracks of essentially the same style of song writing can become very irritating. It seems like one long ragtime song through out this whole listen making it great in small amounts but terrible for a long play.

Now I don’t want to leave you on a sour note because this album really compiles a lot of great ragtime hits from Scott Joplin. He is suspected to have influenced some of the greatest jazz performers and he paved the way for a lot of pianists. Every one of these flowing, lively and youthful tracks do not disappoint.

Pros
Production
The way that it flows
Syncopation

Cons
The tracks get old
Too many tracks

Recommended Tracks
The Entertainer
Swipesy
Weeping Willow Rag
Gladiolus Rag
Maple Leaf Rag



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Comments:Add a Comment 
The Door Mouse
March 24th 2007



2092 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sorry if the paragraphs were a bit terse but it was fun to write.

Zmev
March 24th 2007



983 Comments


Gold Collection? Bull hockey! You need the original, son.

And who ever brings up the genre of ragtime who isn't pushing 90?This Message Edited On 03.24.07

The Door Mouse
March 24th 2007



2092 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Are you saying to rename the album?

Zmev
March 24th 2007



983 Comments


No. I'm just expressing my dislike of these remastered reeverythinged recordings, if Scott Joplin wanted his music to sound cold and machine-y than thats the way it should sound. Not that it isn't designed to but eh.

John Paul Harrison
March 25th 2007



1014 Comments


[quote=Zmev] if Scott Joplin wanted his music to sound cold and machine-y than thats the way it should sound.[/quote]

wait- i don't get it. are you saying Joplin was going for that oh-so indie lo-fi sound?


Angmar
March 25th 2007



2689 Comments


Alright review, you were slightly confusing at times, and you need to beef things up more.

Zebra
Moderator
March 25th 2007



2647 Comments


"The Entertainer" took me about two weeks to learn. "Maple Leaf Rag" on the other hand was a challenge. These are the only two Joplin songs that I really enjoy, everything else sounds like a watered down version of the two.

The Door Mouse
March 25th 2007



2092 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Maple Leaf Rag took me like 2 weeks while The Entertainer took like 6 weeks. :I You could have had a tougher version though.

The Door Mouse
March 27th 2007



2092 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yup

Urinetrouble
November 19th 2010



5760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the entertainer is so good



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