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Mixed Up Rag
"Essential 1920's Piano"
This piano solo was recorded in Chicago in 1928 featuring Will Ezell at the keys.
Beginning with an introductory strain of Eddie Edwards and J. Russell Robinson's "Sensation Rag", Will Ezell cycles through an original ragtime medley that undoubtedly served as a showpiece for his admirable instrumental abilities.
Will Ezell's place of birth remains unknown, some believe that he may have been from Texas, while others have claimed that he was from Shreveport, Louisiana. A typical blues man of the era, he traveled far and wide to be heard. He was known to have played in bars on Hastings Street in Detroit, and he also performed in Cripple Clarence Lofton's bar in Chicago. Fellow pianist Walter Davis stated that he saw him back Bessie Smith in a live performance, while Little Brother Montgomery claimed that he saw him play down South. Although they were widespread these varying accounts of Ezell's live performances all appear to have been factual.
Ezell landed a gig at Paramount Records backing many artists on their records such as Elzadie Robinson. He's also remembered for being the chosen one to accompany Blind Lemon Jefferson's body on the train to Wortham, Texas for burial. But, Ezell wasn't just a sideman. He laid down 14 essential piano cuts for Paramount between 1927 and 1929. Most of these were piano solos, with his last recordings being backed by the Graves Brothers.
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