By Gus Wilmorth
Eric Marchese kicked off the January 31st meeting of the Rose Leaf Ragtime Club in Pasadena with the Club signature tune, Rose Leaf Rag, followed by a seldom played Joplin compositions, Silver Swan, his last published rag issued by the Maple Leaf Club in 1970. He finished his first appearance with Scott’s Rag Sentimental. Nancy Kleier joined Eric on the second piano to pick out Swipsey Cakewalk and Sunflower Slow Drag with fine precision. (Nancy says they have worked up several more duets so we have something more to look forward to.)
Bill Mitchell next with Abe Olman’s Winter Garden Rag, American Beauty and Paul Pratt’s Hot House Rag. Hot House has interesting opening measures introducing a very nice rag. (Jasen and Tichenor say: "The first two measures of section A anticipate the Novelty rag with its descending octaves broken into a three-eight figure executed with both hands." Also, "a truly inspired conception".)
Next up was Fred Hoeptner with Grace and Beauty and Evergreen. Fred’s interpretation of the trio and intro before returning to the B section to end Evergreen was neat, a change of pace. He finished his set with Max Morath’s One for Amelia, Max’s tribute to Joe Lamb’s wife.
Susan Erb played Marten Jager’s Baroque Rag, letting us know that Jager’s recent visit to Old Town Music Hall left more behind than a fond memory. Her second offering was Nola, another tribute to a wife and anticipating Novelty.
Nancy Kleier’s theme was, naturally, the Superbowl, with tributes to the Broncos and to Georgia. For the Broncos she played Sousa’s Sabers and Saddles. For Georgia, she played his King Cotton March. And to signify the results of the match, no matter who won, Harry P. Guy’s Cleanin’ up in Georgia, a 1899 cakewalk, about the only nod to the anniversary year we had this session.
Bill Mitchell returned to say that Nancy should have played Pegasus for the Broncs and to play his own Musty Rag plus Percy Wenrich’s The Smiler.
Before taking a bit of a break, P.J. Schmidt played Ford Dabney’s Porto Rico and Joplin’s first posthumously published rag, Reflections (1917). Reportedly, Reflections was one of several Joplin pieces Stark had bought earlier (circa 1908) but not published.
After the break P.J. opened the meeting to a discussion of the points brought up at the planning meeting reported in last issue of SOMETHING DOING. Remarks covered publicity, pros and cons of a tighter organization, treasury, scholarships, adjustable piano stools, potential ‘family style’ menu, etc. No directives issued.
Eric Marchese again opened things up with some 1904 Joplin: Sycamore, Cascades, and Chrysanthemum. (Again, Chrysanthemum was allegedly written (per Ed Berlin) for a wife, Freddy Alexander, Joplin’s second. A day for tributes.)
Nancy Kleier returned with some more vaguely collegiate type tunes (I think) for the Superbowl—Tierney’s Jingle Pop Pop and Muir’s Chilly Billy Bee, some 1910-1911 era ‘popular’ rag types. She played King Chanticleer for the cock of the walk that wins the Bowl.
P.J. played his Father…….Blues and French Vanilla. Susan Erb gave us Crush Collision March (without whistle sound effects!)
Bill Mitchell finished off the meeting with Scott’s Climax Rag, Charlie Hunter’s Possum ‘n’ Taters, Joplin’s 1908 first published composition, Original Rags. With that everyone scampered home to get the results of the big game.