Tokarski, who has the Morton style down very well but also displays his own ideas, generally plays the rags straight at first before turning them into vehicles for early jazz improvising. Certainly these recordings of such songs as “Frog Legs Rag” “Weeping Willow, “Pineapple Rag,” “St. Louis Tickle,” “Black and White Rag,” and “The Cascades” are different than any other recorded versions, swinging harder than the usual renditions with Tokarski opening up each number to add spontaneous yet tasteful ideas. Jelly Roll Morton would have approved. SYNCOPATED TIMES US
Jelly Roll Morton never recorded with bass and drums, but these interpretations by up-and-coming pianist Kris Tokarski give us an insight into how he may have sounded playing in a New Orleans bar in the 1920s and ’30s. Thousands of rags were written between 1899 and 1917, so why not a series by Kris? JUST JAZZ UK
Improvised Ragtime played in the style of Jelly Roll Morton and other New Orleans Jazz pioneers.
There are eight solo piano tracks and seven with string bass and drums.
released November 13, 2018
Kris Tokarski, piano
Joshua Gouzy, string bass
Hal Smith, drums
Recorded June 18 – 19, 2018 at Word of Mouth Studios, New Orleans, LA
Engineer: Tim Stambaugh
Mastering: Alex Hall, Reliable Recording Service, Chicago, IL
Producer: Hal Smith
Artwork: Joshua Gouzy
Photos: Bobby Bonsey
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