Butch Thompson: Thompson Plays Joplin

Unsuspected by the majority of jazz people out there, the world of contemporary ragtime is still alive and doing quite well, what with its annual festivals and its constant supply of new recordings. A case in point is this latest release by early jazz piano specialist Butch Thompson, perhaps the most full qualified performer of Jelly Roll Morton extant. Long known for his regular appearances on NPR’s Prairie Home Companion, Butch has already recorded eight CDs for Mason Daring’s label, this latest being a respectful yet swinging treatment of 13 of Scott Joplin’s best rags, the most well-known of which are “Maple Leaf Rag,” “Heliotrope Bouquet,” and “The Cascades.” This album is highly recommended both to seasoned collectors and to newcomers as an introduction to this captivating and addictive genre.