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Gershwin: The Piano Rolls, Vol. 2

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Album Review

George Gershwin made well over 100 piano rolls between 1915 and 1925. Although he had some reluctance to take up the piano after neglecting it for many years, he eventually realized the enormous profits to be made in addition to his work at the time as a Tin Pan Alley song-plugger and later a staff composer at Harms. He played many hits of the day (by Jerome Kern, Harry Akst and Irving Berlin) as well as his own compositions, and though the songs gathered here will be unfamiliar to most listeners, Gershwin's performances are striking, thanks in part to the technology employed by Elektra/Nonesuch in the re-recording of these rolls on a nine-foot Yamaha Disklavier grand piano.


Born: 26 September 1898 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '10s, '20s, '30s, '10s

In a career tragically cut short in mid-stride by a brain tumor, George Gershwin (1898-1937) proved himself to be not only one of the great songwriters of his extremely rich era, but also a gifted "serious" composer who bridged the worlds of classical and popular music. The latter is all the more striking, given that, of his contemporaries, Gershwin was the most influenced by such styles as jazz and blues. Gershwin's first major hit, interpolated into the show Sinbad in 1919, was "Swanee," sung...
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Gershwin: The Piano Rolls, Vol. 2, George Gershwin
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