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On A Circular Staircase
Rivermont BSW-2209

Adam Swanson is rapidly becoming known as one of the world's foremost performers and historians of American piano ragtime. He has been a featured performer at dozens of ragtime and jazz festivals across the United States and abroad. In 2007, he appeared alongside John Arpin at the Bohem Ragtime and Jazz Festival in the Republic of Hungary. In May 2008, at sixteen years old, he became the youngest ever to win the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest held in Peoria Illinois. He returned in 2009 to capture the top prize again.

Swanson has established something of a reputation for unearthing rare ragtime gems; on this CD as in live performances, he juxtaposes classics like Zez Confrey's "Kitten on the Keys" with seldom-heard treasures such as Charley Thompson's "Buffet-Flat Blues" and Paul Pratt's lively "Wailana Rag Two-Step." The program features many of the "barnburners" Swanson is famous for: Arthur Schutt's tricky novelty "Bluin' the Black Keys," Donald Lambert's magnificent stride arrangement of Edvard Grieg's "Anitra's Dance" from the Peer Gynt Suite, and Robin Frost's astounding "Space Shuffle." Among of the highlights of the disc is the premiere recording of a lost ragtime composition by Arthur Marshall, "The Pea Picker."

The accompanying full-color 12-page booklet features extensive notes by the artist, rare photographs, reproductions of original sheet music covers, and a special introduction by Johnny Maddox. 51 minutes.

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1. Mo' LassesCharles "Lucky" Roberts
2. Kitten on the KeysZez Confrey
3.Buffet-Flat Blues (Derby Stomp)Charles Thompson
4.On a Circular StaircaseGlenn Rowell and Gene Carroll
5. Three O'Clock in the MorningJulian Robledo and Dorothy Terriss
6.Wailana Rag Two-StepPaul Charles Pratt
7. The Pea PickerArthur Marshall
8.Williams's RagClaude "Chauf" Williams
9.Sweet Georgia BrownMaceo Pinkard and Ken Casey
10.A Ragtime NightmareTom Turpin
11.Medley: Yellow Dog Blues/Easy RiderW. C. Handy/Shelton Brooks
12.Bohemia RagJoseph Lamb
13. Bluin' the Black KeysArthur Schutt
14.St. Louis BluesW. C. Handy
15. Handful of KeysFats Waller
16.Hallelujah!Vincent Youmans
17.Anitra's DanceEdvard Grieg
18.Space ShuffleRobin Frost
Recording: Adam Swanson / Mastering: Bryan S. Wright / Liner notes: Adam Swanson