Thursday, July 12, 2007

Banjo Crackerjacks

Once in a while I play my copy of the shown LP compilation, Banjo Crackerjax featuring 14 recordings by Harry Reser. I bought the Lp a long time ago when I was trying to learn and play Reser's "The Cat And The Dog" on the guitar, as I wanted to hear the original source. Anyway, I gave up on the second and third section of the piece, put my guitar away and decided never to touch it again (- at least for a couple of days). The music was too complicated to master on the six string guitar, but the fascination with Reser's amazing fretwork on the four string banjo remained. By the way, the LP has since been re-issued on a cd, still available from Yazoo Records

Harry Reser (1897-1965) is still considered one of the finest banjo players ever, learn more about his career and recordings at the RedHotJazz website, click here

The novelty rags composed by Harry Reser, available on the shown LP and on the mentioned web, keep challenging banjo players to develop their chops. I found three examples of accomplished banjoists doing their best to cope with Reser's demanded gymnastics on the fretboard.
The first video fragment features Mike Currao playing "Crackerjack"

The second videofragment features Juergen Kulus with Tim Stuip playing "Frosted Chocolate"

The last video this time features String Trio Schleswig-Holstein playing "Lollypops"




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