Down Beat (2/94, p.51) - 3 Stars - Good - "...Gershwin's playing here is a full, two-handed style calculated to dazzle his listeners and sell a tune...but he was not an improviser. Nor was he a blues player...the sensibility is pure theater, not barrelhouse...."
Stereo Review (3/94, p.103) - "...totally convincing, authentic 'live' performances in up-to-date sound. 'S wonderful!..."
Artis Wodehouse used a 1911 pianola to transfer Gershwin's piano rolls to the Yamaha Disklavier for these performances.
George Gershwin made 130 piano rolls between 1916-1927; 28 were recorded and released in 1998 on two Nonesuch CDs. This particular release has quite a few obscure Gershwin songs, including his very first tune, "When You Want 'Em, You Can't Get 'Em, When You've Got 'Em, You Don't Want 'Em." Certainly such tunes as "Novelette in Fourths," "So Am I," and "Idle Dreams" are long forgotten but worth reviving. Among the other highlights of the fascinating and highly enjoyable recital are "Sweet and Lowdown," "Swanee" and a 14-minute rendition of "Rhapsody in Blue." The 1933 item is a bit unusual, for it is a two-piano rendition of "An American in Paris" that lasts over 16 minutes and was arranged by Frank Milne. Well worth exploring. ~ Scott Yanow
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