WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Black Manhattan - Rick Benjamin, Paragon Ragtime Orchestra


Release Date: 11/25/2003 
Label:  New World Records   Catalog #: 80611   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  James Reese EuropeWill H. VoderyWill Marion CookHenry Thacker Burleigh,   ... 
Performer:  Edward PleasantAwet Andemicael
Conductor:  Rick Benjamin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
On sale! $19.98
CD:  $16.99
In Stock



Notes and Editorial Reviews


This album collects ragtime and jazz classics of composer/conductor James Reese Europe and his contemporaries. The performances recreate the style of the legendary Clef Club, a ragtime orchestra composed of African American musicians that operated from 1910 to 1930. Europe was a prominent figure on the black music scene during this time, as was Will Marion Cook, whose In Dahomey was the first all-black musical, and its full-scale overture is this collection's most substantial offering.


The disc begins with Europe's exuberant "Castle Perfect Trot", a light, bright, dancing romp that sets the high-spirited tone for the majority of the disc. This, and numbers such as J.
Read more Turner Layton's "Strut Miss Lizze" and Cook's "Swing Along!" have such an infectious beat that you'll hardly be able to resist tapping your toes. This is as much true today as in 1902 when Bob Cole and the Johnson Brothers penned the song "When the Band Plays Ragtime", which (as sung beautifully here by baritone Edward Pleasant) offers a wry commentary on the social friction engendered by "jazz" music. Cole and Johnson provide the disc's other vocal offering, the exotic "Under the Bamboo Tree", in a stylized period performance by soprano Awet Andemicael.


There's plenty of variety here to give a representative sampling of some of the era's finest pop music, and it's all played with polish, authenticity, and all-out enthusiasm by the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra under Rick Benjamin's inspired direction. The recording provides natural perspectives, warm presence, and dynamic punch. Those who think ragtime begins and ends with Scott Joplin are in for a pleasant surprise, while aficionados no doubt will treasure this uniquely enjoyable disc.
--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Castle Perfect Trot by James Reese Europe
Conductor:  Rick Benjamin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Ford T. Dabney. 
2.
Carolina Fox Trot by Will H. Vodery
Conductor:  Rick Benjamin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 05/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 2 Minutes 42 Secs. 
3.
In Dahomey: Overture by Will Marion Cook
Conductor:  Rick Benjamin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1902-1903; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 8 Minutes 14 Secs. 
4.
Swing along by Will Marion Cook
Conductor:  Rick Benjamin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1912; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 4 Minutes 5 Secs. 
5.
Jubilee Songs of the USA: Deep River by Henry Thacker Burleigh
Conductor:  Rick Benjamin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1916; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 2 Minutes 21 Secs. 
6.
Sambo by William H. Tyers
Conductor:  Rick Benjamin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1896; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 3 Minutes 10 Secs. 
7.
Smyrna by William H. Tyers
Conductor:  Rick Benjamin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910/1914; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 4 Minutes 39 Secs. 
8.
Meno d'Amour by William H. Tyers
Conductor:  Rick Benjamin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 4 Minutes 46 Secs. 
9.
Panama by William H. Tyers
Conductor:  Rick Benjamin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910/1911; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 4 Minutes 47 Secs. 
10.
Castle House Rag by James Reese Europe
Conductor:  Rick Benjamin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 2 Minutes 7 Secs. 
11.
What It Takes to Make Me Love You - You've Got It by James Reese Europe
Conductor:  Rick Benjamin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1914; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Notes: Arranged: James Reese Europe
This work is part of a medley which also incorporates "Ballin' the Jack" by Chris Smith. 
12.
Hey! There! (Hi! There!) by James Reese Europe
Conductor:  Rick Benjamin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 2 Minutes 39 Secs. 
13.
Congratulations "Castle's Lame Duck Waltz" by James Reese Europe
Conductor:  Rick Benjamin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 4 Minutes 55 Secs. 
14.
Clef Club March by James Reese Europe
Conductor:  Rick Benjamin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 2 Minutes 47 Secs. 
15.
Tarr Heels Blues Rag by James Timothy Brymn
Conductor:  Rick Benjamin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 2 Minutes 31 Secs. 
16.
Cocoanut Grove Jazz by James Timothy Brymn
Conductor:  Rick Benjamin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 3 Minutes 4 Secs. 
17.
Strut Miss Lizzie by Turner Layton
Conductor:  Rick Benjamin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 2 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Will H. Vodrey 
18.
When the Band Plays Ragtime by John Rosamond Johnson
Performer:  Edward Pleasant (Baritone)
Conductor:  Rick Benjamin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1902; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 3 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Bob Cole. 
19.
Under the Bamboo Tree by John Rosamond Johnson
Performer:  Awet Andemicael (Soprano)
Conductor:  Rick Benjamin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1902; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 5 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Bob Cole. 
20.
Ballin' the Jack by Chris Smith
Conductor:  Rick Benjamin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts & Letters, NYC 
Length: 1 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: James Reese Europe
This work is part of a medley which also incorporates "What it Takes to make me Love you - You've Got it" by James Reese Europe. 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN - TRY IT FREE!
Listen to all your favorite classical music for only $20/month.
Sign up for your monthly subscription service and get unlimited access to the most comprehensive digital catalog of classical music in the world - new releases. bestsellers, advanced releases and more.
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In