Renowned pianist-composer, ragtime pioneer, and raconteur Eubie Blake was 91 years old at the time of this Great American Music Hall. Eubie Blake: So one day I was playing my mother’d gone out to work, see and what she was Look now, the “Charleston Rag,” you take the “Charleston Rag.”. Charleston rag / Eubie Blake ; arr. by Gunther Schuller. Uniform Title. Charleston rag; arr. Creator. Blake, Eubie, Other Creators. Schuller, Gunther.
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You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly. Blake completed his first composition inthe same year Scott Joplin gained public recognition with this M aple L eaf R ag. Blake was still composing at the age of His skills as a performer and entertainer are well documented on records and piano rolls, in concerts and television appearances.
Eubie Blake – Charleston Rag :: Music :: Audio :: Eubie Blake :: Paste
However, the full extent of his compositional talents has yet to be fully recognized and appreciated. One reason for Blake’s appeal as a composer is that he spans so much of our American culture and so many changes in contemporary musical styles. Quoting from Robert Kimball and William Bolcom in R eminiscing with Sissie and B lake”Eubie was to be influenced by nearly every Rag pianist he came into contact with through those [early] years, just as he was to influence many others.
His open pair of ears took in and digested much other music too: Victor Herbert, Franz Lehar, Oskar Strauss, and the light classics, Grieg and Wagner were also bouncing around inside his head; it was all music and all fascinating. Blake’s compositions, which number over 2, may be divided into three categories. The first is ragtime. He began composing this music when the form was in its heyday.
Eubie was among the leaders of the second generation East Coast ragtime writers who were producing a more urban synthesis of that folk music form. Blake was to compose a number of rags for use in exhibitions of pianistic skill called “cutting contests. His harmonies were more adventurous than most of his contemporaries’ and in general his writing now seems to have been many years ahead of its time. It was with the publishing of Chevy Chase and Fizz Water in that Eubie first gained widespread recognition as a composer.
The second category of compositions is Blake’s work for the Broadway stage. Eubie was the first black composer to find acceptance and success on Broadway and he certainly must be ranked among the finest writers of American popular song.
He has shown a flair for beautiful, interesting melodies which always have some twist or surprise. The third category of Blake’s work falls under the heading of what he calls “semi-classical” music.
His tone poem Butterfly and Valse Marion are but two notable examples. It is a fact that Eubie is much better known today than he was 35 years ago. On December 27, he married Marion Gant Tyler.
Charleston Rag (Remastered) – Single by Eubie Blake on Apple Music
Marion had been a business executive for Northrop Aircraft Corp. Handy, an actress in black Broadway shows in the late s, and widow of the famed musician William Tyler.
Because of her vast experience she was perfectly suited to manage Eubie’s career. Marion saw to every detail of Eubie’s professional life, carefully bringing him once again to national prominence. The Amherst Quartet became involved with the music of Eubie Blake through a series of happy coincidences. During the mid-seventies Salvatore Andolina worked in Buffalo with Steven Radecke, a pianist who specializes in ragtime. Radecke had been producing ragtime festivals in St.
Louis, Missouri, and invited the Quartet to participate in “Ragtime Eubie Blake was the special guest of the Festival that year. The Amherst Quartet had the opportunity to talk with and perform for Eubie and in turn was privileged to listen to him perform his own music.
By the time the group left St. Louis, Nascimben had already completed several arrangements of Blake’s music. Blake has eubir, “These boys of the Amherst Saxophone Quartet are eubje musicians and they play my music just the way I meant it to be played.
I’m proud that they enjoy performing my compositions and do it so well. This recording is a very special present to receive on my 98th birthday, and my wife and I certainly appreciate it.
The Amherst Saxophone Quartet was formed in January as a classical ensemble for the purpose of performing the literature written for soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophone.
Few people realize that there is a larger repertoire for saxophone quartet than for any other chamber ensemble with the exception of string quartet.
Andolina was a regular member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra playing clarinet and bass clarinet for the season. As well as being an educator, he is active in conducting and arranging. He has studied saxophone with Edward Charlesston and charleeton with Allen Sigel. In it was renamed and promptly sold a million records. Already a fully developed style is exhibited with the presence of a very characteristic “wobbly” bass line.
Kitchen Tom – Written for a light-skinned cook from Atlantic City who won Eubie’s respect for refusing to “pass,” thereby accepting the lower wage paid to blacks. Eubie used a tune Tom used to whistle as the basis for the second strain. Poor Katie Redd – Written for a strong, well-educated, articulate woman who could swear a blue streak on occasion. Although this piece is a rag, the first strain has lyrics. Jassamine Lane – This is a beautiful love ballad with words by Noble Sissie.
It ejbie used in the show T he Chocolate Ebuie andies. Tricky Fingers and Troublesome Eybie – Virtuoso pieces which are exemplary of Eubie’s rag composition style. Randi’s Rag – Written for a Scandinavian newspaper woman, this demonstrates that Blake at 91 still had not lost touch with many of his early influences. Fizz Water and Chevy Chase both – Although these pieces established Blake’s fame as a composer, he still regrets selling these rags outright.
It is a mistake he was never to repeat.
Note the use of the whole tone scale. Butterfly – This is a delightful tone poem which seems a curious blend of Debussy and ragtime. Eubie Dubie – B,ake introduction and first strain were written by Johnny Guarneri and given to Eubie as a gift.
Eubie later completed it. Valse Marion – The most wonderful of a series of va l ses. Eubie said, “I wrote that especially for my wife, Marion, and she loves the way the Quartet treated it and so do I. blae
Zen masters see the world in a grain of sand. The Amherst Saxophone Quartet creates a universe of music with the intersection of soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones.
Sunday afternoon in UB’s Slee Hall, the quartet threw a raf bash, and everyone showed up, from friends and relatives to music lovers, composers, musicians and fans to support their longevity and wondrous achievement.
It put the formidable success of the quartet in perspective. That song, subtitled The Quest, could stand for the quartet’s mission statement. Although saxophones are traditionally associated with jazz and pop, the quartet plays both traditional and contemporary chamber music, along with blues and jazz. These include two recordings of American music, an all-Bach album, an all-Eubie Blake disc, a collaboration with Lukas Foss and a recent jazz recording. Why is the Amherst Saxophone Quartet so successful?
The members have a strong sense of humor to go along with an exacting technique and dedication to excellence.
They are a local treasure that often gets ignored when gold medals and Super Bowl talk is bandied about. They are musically of Olympian caliber. Tenor saxophonist Rosenthal’s glib commentary and lighthearted humor make the music accessible to almost anyone regardless of their musical background. Composer Perry Goldstein was in the audience to hear the quartet’s performance of his Blow!
The liquid sound, intonation and dynamic expressiveness inherent in the quartets mastery of chamber music were very mush in evidence in Sergei Prokofiev’s sweetly appealing Romeo charlestoj Juliet Suite 2transcribed by Fackelman. Lustig’s witty text, a veritable musical whodunit, pointed the finger at every great composer from Mozart to Chopin, to Wagner and Stravinsky.
She finally concluded that the reports of the demise of classical music were greatly exaggerated. Fun-filled encores of Carere’s All Right Bluescomplete with choreography, and a jaunty version of Eubie Blake’s Charleston Rag sent everyone heading for the exit with a smile on their face and a light step. Blake, Eubie was as much as 20 years older arg most of the other early jazz and ragtime musicians who charlestn and recorded their creations on 78s and piano rolls in the early years of this century.
Incredibly, he met almost all of the pioneers, and he outlived them. By the time Eubie first recorded, he was 34, but he was already a show business veteran. In his later years, his willingness to travel, his ability to clearly recall events and blakd from 60 to 90 years before, and his charleaton and frankness not to mention his keyboard facility made him a national institution.
Charleston Rag is an example of Eubie’s classic Ragtime style. Charleston was originally entitled Sounds of Africa by Will Marion Cook, an influential conductor of the charlesyon. Even though Eubie was only sixteen when he composed the work, already a fully developed style was exhibited, with the presence of a very characteristic ‘wobbly’ bass line.
Recordings An American Classic: The Association The Amherst Quartet became involved with the music of Eubie Blake through a series of happy coincidences. Wednesday, March 11, Amherst Saxophone Quartet at Lament on the Death of Music, Leila Lustig.
Click on this photo to enlarge the review.: Composer Biography Eubie Blake.