CD Billy Mayerl: Original Recordings, Vol. 1 (CD 958019),
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Billy Mayerl: Original Recordings, Vol. 1

  • 1. Marigold, a syncopated impression for piano
    2. Puppets, suite for piano: I. Golliwog
    3. Puppets, suite for piano: II. Judy
    4. Puppets, suite for piano: III. Punch
    5. Desert Song, operetta: Medley: Intro / One Alone / The Riff Song / The Desert Song / It, The
    6. All-of-a-Twist, for piano (from Pianolettes)
    7. Eskimo Shivers, for piano
    8. Nippy, musical play: Medley: Intro / Your Sunny Disposition and Mine / Anything / It Must Be You
    9. Miniatures (3) in Syncopation, for piano, Op. 76: I. Cobweb
    10. Miniatures (3) in Syncopation, for piano, Op. 76: II. Muffin Man
    11. Miniatures (3) in Syncopation, for piano, Op. 76: III. Clockwork
    12. Sennen Cove for piano, Op. 53
    13. Jazzaristrix, for piano
    14. Virginia Creeper, for piano
    15. Limehouse Blues
    16. Mignonette, for piano
    17. Dances (3) in Syncopation for piano, Op. 73: I. English Dance
    18. Dances (3) in Syncopation for piano, Op. 73: II. Cricket Dance
    19. Dances (3) in Syncopation for piano, Op. 73: III. Harmonica Dance
    20. Indespensable You (for inclusion in the musical "Silver Wings")
    21. Honky-Tonk, a rhythmical absurdity for piano
    22. Honeysuckle, for piano
    23. Sporting Love, musical play: Medley: Intro / A-Shooting We Will Go / You're the Reason Why / Those In Favour
    24. Sporting Love, musical play: Have A Heart
    25. Hollyhock, for piano
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 120653

  • Credits

    Personnel includes: Billy Mayerl (arranger, piano); Al Bowly, Pat O'Malley (vocals); Ray Noble & His Orchestra; Jack Hylton & His Orchestra.
    Recorded in London, England between 1925 & 1936.
    Personnel: Billy Mayerl (piano); Al Bowlly, Pat O'Malley (vocals).
    Liner Note Author: Guy W. Rowland.
    Recording information: Hayes, Middlesex, England (09/24/1925-05/01/1936); London, England (09/24/1925-05/01/1936).
    Arranger: Billy Mayerl.
    This entertaining set from Naxos collects numerous Billy Mayerl recordings, showing both the eccentric, crazy-fingered side of the British pianist while also including his more conventional period pieces. "Marigold" -- Mayerl's defining performance -- is here; it even provides inspiration for the cover art. "All-Of-A-Twist" shows off Mayerl's wild abandon on the ivories, traveling up and down the keyboard while still staying within the framework of 1920s instrumental style -- it's like the rapid-fire soundtrack of an early motion picture. You can just see the herky-jerky footage, with a smiling man in a straw boater riding his penny farthing bicycle, turning to the lens as if to speak, and laughing when he realizes he's on camera. At the same time, Mayerl's slower material shows a flair for nuance. The suites -- "Three Miniatures in Syncopation" and "Three Dances in Syncopation" -- each move beautifully through quiet moments and flashes of tittering keys. Again, it's easy to hear it and imagine the gray scale snapshot of a British Path newsreel, turning its cameras on an estate sale, or a public appearance by Princess Elizabeth. While his introspective suites showed needed depth, it was his rapid-fire, oddly-timed compositions with which Mayerl really made his name, and Original Recordings doesn't disappoint. Besides "All-Of-A-Twist," there's "Jazzaristrix," "Virginia Creeper," and the fabulously wacky "Honky-Tonk." The set is a great overview of a talented pianist's work while being incredibly provocative for his particular time period. ~ Johnny Loftus

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