Ragtime guitar is one of the most exciting and complex styles for a guitarist to master. The techniques involved can become very complicated and for a novice these can sometimes interfere with the spirit of the music. But in the hands of a talented and experienced guitarist this music can capture a unique texture as well as being one of the most rhythmic and attractive musical forms known. This album presents four of the leading exponents of ragtime guitar. Their approach to ragtime differs, yet each one manages to capture that all important element called "feel."
Duck Baker's playing on his nylon strung flamenco guitar has excited audiences throughout Europe, Japan and America. He brings an energetic spirit to each tune that he plays. His right hand technique coupled with the use of a flamenco guitar creates a strong and rhythmic sound.
Tim Nicolai also uses a nylon strung guitar though his technique is more classical oriented. His rendition of Solace - A Mexican Serenade demonstrates clearly how well classic rags can be adapted to a classical guitar approach. The shades and tones of Tim's arrangements show a gentleness and true understanding for the music.
Likewise the Dutch Wizard, Ton Van Bergeyk brings his own touch and humor to two original ragtime oriented instrumentals. Ton's command of the steel string guitar is very impressive. His arrangements combine many elements and clearly show his love for the music of Scott Joplin to Glenn Miller! Ton has recorded several solo albums on as well as being heavily featured on the album I Got Rhythm (SGGW133).
Lasse Johansson adds another approach to ragtime guitar with his four solos. His version of Creole Belles is very interesting and demonstrates how successfully a brass band arrangement can be adapted to the guitar. It is also interesting to hear this composition as one of the sections has become very popular through the playing and recordings of Mississippi John Hurt.
Lasse's duets with Claes Palmqvist are fine examples of the art of duet guitar arrangements.Together they have created delicate and yet spirited version of two well known rags. Both arrangements are highly successful and each adds a different dimension to their collaborations.
This collection is an exciting tour de force in ragtime guitar. Duck, Ton, Tim, Claes and Lasse are truly masters of this style. And as usual the guitar players who are eager to try to pick up these tunes will have a happy time with the PDF tab/music booklet that has been prepared to go along with this project and can be found on the CD. This booklet presents many of the tunes played.