CD Banjo Crackerjax, 1922-1930 (CD 169581),
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Banjo Crackerjax, 1922-1930

  • 1. Lollypops
    2. Frosted Chocolate
    3. Heebe Jeebes
    4. Cat and the Dog, The
    5. Cracker Jack
    6. Flaperette
    7. Kitten on the Keys
    8. Easy Goin'
    9. Old Town Pump, The
    10. Fair and Warmer
    11. Pickin's
    12. Crazy Jo'
    13. Sugar Blues
    14. Send Back My Honey Man
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 1048

  • Credits
    ProducerDave Jasen; Nick Perls

    Personnel includes: Harry Reser (banjo, vocals).
    Personnel: Harry Reser (banjo).
    Liner Note Author: Dave Jasen.
    Recording information: 1922-1930.
    Illustrator: Bob Armstrong.
    The music on this highly entertaining CD is much more of a group effort than the title would suggest. Make no mistake, Harry Reser was one of the great banjo virtuosos, although his style was totally of the strummed, plectrum variety without a trace of the mystic quality of Appalachian banjo or the fingerpicking stunts of bluegrass players. With the banjo's rapid sound decay and complete lack of fortitude in certain registers, a combo with plenty of harmonic punch, like a good piano player, is required to pull off the kind of ragtime, early swing, and novelty numbers that make up the repertoire here. Keys and chords are going by quickly here, and whereas the ideal choice of accompaniment for a bluegrass player might be a guitarist strumming an endless G chord, Reser needs his pianist to be all over the map to put an address behind his plinks and plunks. Some of the finest banjo playing here involves the beautiful tone he gets in the lower register, almost like the banjo equivalent of Coleman Hawkins on tenor sax if such a thing can be believed from a banjo, and intentionally out-of-tune slides on that make it sound like he is playing a rubber band. The entire CD might have a kind of cartoony effect on the listener between the manic banjo playing and eccentric, sometimes silly arrangements and tunes. There is no information provided about the other musicians, and only a morsel of credit provided for a few of the composers. ~ Eugene Chadbourne

  • Critic Reviews
    Musician (7/93, p.93) - "...beyond the novelty of hearing lightning-fast jazz chord runs on a banjo, one is taken with the ambience of these recordings--with piano or dance band arrangements behind him, and the hiss of these 60-to-70-year-old 78s--and it's hard to imagine anyone not being charmed by his world..."
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