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 Post subject: 1928 Oscar Levant Rhapsody in Blue
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:37 pm 
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Victor III
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music is time travel and strings moments in time together like nothing else I know -- Kathleen Lane
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This record is something I have owned for many years, but I have to admit I don't think I had ever listened to it. As I researched it a bit it took me by surprise. I had always assumed this was a later recording by Oscar Levant. Probably early 1940s when he came on the "scene". But, it is much more special than that. It was the first recording of Rhapsody in Blue with a pianist other than George Gershwin ever made. Recorded in November 1927 and January 1928 it was produced more or less at the same time as the electrical recording done in London by George Gershwin. There are many things about this recording I like better than either Gershwin original. I love those recordings, but they have always seemed to lack energy and I think the piano sounds very distant from the rest of the sound. This one has very clear piano even when the orchestra is playing. But, I don't always like the orchestra sound. I love all 3 recordings. But, I am happy for this new surprise, at least to me! Levant's version uses different cuts. All of the 3 first versions run about 9 minutes on two 12" 78 rpm sides. The full piece runs about 15 minutes as it is heard today.

Unfortunately my copy is a bit worn so there is some loud passage distortion especially in the first minute or two.

Anyone else know more about this recording? I'd love to know more.


(Double-click the video above or click this link to watch the video on YouTube in HD.)


https://youtu.be/eRwxZCEvCFw
-- Dan

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 Post subject: Re: 1928 Oscar Levant Rhapsody in Blue
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:22 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:54 pm
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All I know comes from the Red Hot Jazz website, which produced this timeline of the early RIB recordings:

http://www.redhotjazz.com/rhapsody.html


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 Post subject: Re: 1928 Oscar Levant Rhapsody in Blue
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:06 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:55 am
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Location: Eugene/ Springfield Oregon USA
And all I know about it is that I have been hunting for a copy since God was a child. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: 1928 Oscar Levant Rhapsody in Blue
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:20 am 
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Victor VI
I have good days...this might not be one of them
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:23 pm
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Location: Albany NY
probably recorded at the same time as the Edisonians version, with Frank Banta at the piano:

(Double-click the video above or click this link to go to the video on YouTube.)



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 Post subject: Re: 1928 Oscar Levant Rhapsody in Blue
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:23 am 
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Victor VI
I have good days...this might not be one of them
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:23 pm
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Location: Albany NY
On the Levant it sounds as if Frank Black touched up the orchestration here and there.


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 Post subject: Re: 1928 Oscar Levant Rhapsody in Blue
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:48 am 
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Victor III
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music is time travel and strings moments in time together like nothing else I know -- Kathleen Lane
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:23 am
Posts: 779
Location: North Oregon Coast
estott wrote:
On the Levant it sounds as if Frank Black touched up the orchestration here and there.


It is a larger ensemble than the Whiteman original for sure. I think it is basically the Ferde Grofe Jazz Band version with extra instruments. But, it is possible the orchestration was modified as well.
-- Dan

Visit My YouTube Channel
Visit the OTAPS Home Page http://otaps.org


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 Post subject: Re: 1928 Oscar Levant Rhapsody in Blue
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:37 am 
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Victor IV
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Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:29 am
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Thanks 52089, for the link to the Jazz Archive. They say that the Edisonians are really the B. A. Rolfe orchestra. But my book by Allen Sutton, Pseudonyms on American Records, 1892 - 1942, c.2013, says that the Edisonians are Anthony Giammatteo's Orchestra, with Irwin Schloss conductor. (Edison) per files. I wonder who is right?


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