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Saturday, November 25, 2017

Musical Interlude

With thanks to FreeThinke:

Another performer of the same piece:

Both of the above in honor of our kitten Minxy!


  1. What fun! The second performance you posted is by Cory Hall, himself a composer. The first is the original 1921 recrding by Zez Confrey, himself.

    Cory has created a "newer version" of Confrey's famous Ragtime "Stride Piano" Solo.

    It might be interesting to see what differences Cory made with the tune. Cory, as all can hear, is a very capable guy –– even if he does wear a pony tail! ;-)

  2. Here is Cory's "newer" version of Kitten on the Keys, if you want to hear it:


    I was listening to it as I typed, and frankly didn't hear any radical differences until more than halfway through, then things get really wild, but despite giving us more colorful "souped up" version of Confrey's original, Cory Hall maintains a perfect ragtime style throughout.

    Cory's updated version is WELL WORTH HEARING!

  3. Here's what WIKI says about Zez Confrey. Like Scott Joplin before him confer was a true American Original:.

    Edward Elzear "Zez" Confrey (April 3, 1895 – November 22, 1971) was an American composer and performer of novelty piano and jazz music. His most noted works were "Kitten on the Keys" and "Dizzy Fingers."

    Confrey was born in Peru, Illinois, United States, the youngest child of Thomas and Margaret Confrey. Aspiring to be a concert pianist, he attended Chicago Musical College and studied with private teachers. He later abandoned that idea for composing, encouraged by his oldest brother, James J. Confrey, an organist. By 1916 he was a staff pianist for Witmarks in Chicago.

    After World War I, Confrey became a pianist and arranger for the QRS piano roll company. He also recorded for AMPICO's reproducing piano system, which was installed in upper-line pianos such as Mason & Hamlin and Chickering.

    In 1921 Confrey wrote his novelty piano solo "Kitten on the Keys", inspired by hearing his grandmother's cat walk on the keyboard of her piano. It became a hit, and he went on to compose many other pieces in the genre. "Dizzy Fingers" (1923) was Confrey's other best seller.

    Following the 1920s, Confrey focused primarily on composing for jazz bands. He retired after World War II but continued to compose until 1959. He died at age 76 in Lakewood, New Jersey after suffering for many years from Parkinson's disease.

    He left behind more than a hundred piano works, songs and miniature operas, and numerous piano rolls, music publications and sound recordings.

    1. FT,
      In 1921 Confrey wrote his novelty piano solo "Kitten on the Keys", inspired by hearing his grandmother's cat walk on the keyboard of her piano.

      I can hear the cat right now!

  4. Replies
    1. That it is FJ! Probably never would have been written without the influencne of Scott Joplin, who may have invented the genre.

      I don't really know. Something ELSE to look up! (SIGH!)

      Ragtime came out of the Midwest –– probably St, Louis –– and actually began as Whorehouse "Parlor" Entertainment. Scott Joplin worked almost excusuvely in bordellos most of his career –– not by choice, but b because that was the only venue where he was accepted for employment. His life was very sad.

    2. FT,
      Joplin didn't invented the genre, but he did develop and perfect it.

      BTW, he studied classical music and was an excellent classical music pianist. He even composed an opera.

      Alas! The whorehouses were not interested in the classical genre.

      Joplin died young from tertiary syphilis.

    3. From Wiki:

      Joplin did for the rag what Chopin did for the mazurka. His style ranged from tones of torment to stunning serenades that incorporated the bolero and the tango."

  5. Wonderful!! Cory Hall is amazing. Mr. B used to search out his videos on YouTube and instantly recognized "the guy with the ponytail and beard." Alas, MY kitten sounded a bit like that on the keyboard -- until she grew up, that is. :)


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