ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT by Max Morath
Once upon a time, ragtime was everything and everywhere. It was song and dance and theater and, by the way, a bracing new kind of music for the piano. “Once Upon A Rag Time” reminds us anew that this music in its heyday was entertainment. It was fun and full of surprise. It was the great adventure for a generation of dazzling pianists and a hustling new gang of songwriters and singers.
Blais and Petley go there like no other team has yet, in the ever-booming renaissance of ragtime today. They play, they sing, they probably danced as they put together this joyous package of music by Blake and Berlin, Jelly Roll and James P. Johnson, plus dollops of Gershwin, Handy, Confrey and a few of us late arrivals like Ittzes, Morath, Shea and Roberts.
If you catch hints of “The Entertainer” slipping in and out of “Once Upon A Rag Time”, you may agree with me that Scott Joplin would change it to the plural today and dedicate it to “The Entertainers” Mimi and John.
Janvier 2005 marque le 15ieme anniversaire de mon tout premier concert de ragtime. C’etait a la Place des Arts a Montreal. Six ,ois plus tard, au Scott Joplin Festival a Sedalia dans le Missouri, j’ai compris que cette musique allait changer ma vie. Un amour fou qui a donne naissance a un spectacle tout aussi fou. C’est mon histoire d’amour avec le ragtime que je vous raconte aujourd’hui. (Mimi Blais)
January 2005 marks the 15th anniversary of the very first ragtime concert I gave at “La Place des Arts” in Montreal, Qc, Canada (01-14-1990). Six months later I was going to the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in Sedalia, Missouri. I felt that this music would change my life. I really fell in love with ragtime music and its story. I love to tell stories, and Ragtime is a wonderful one to tell. It’s a love story. Whoever says love, says birth. Miss My-My loves Johnny Baby and their ragtime love, gave birth to a show and to this CD. (Mimi Blais)