Joseph Lamb: A Study in Classic Ragtime

Joseph Lamb: A Study in Classic Ragtime

Joseph Lamb FW03562 / FG 3562

Joseph Lamb (1887–1960) is considered one of the three great composers of ragtime, along with Scott Joplin and James Scott. Between 1908 and 1919, while living in Montclair, New Jersey, and working in a New York City fabric house, Joe Lamb composed some of the most brilliant ragtime tunes published in America. However, he never released a recording until this one, made in his Brooklyn living room on an upright Knabe piano only a year prior to his death.

Lamb, like the other great ragtime composers, considered improvisation to be a trick of “low-class” players. He played the rags on this recording not from memory, but from the written music he had composed years earlier, to be sure of playing every note he had written.

The liner notes describe Lamb’s development as a ragtime composer, as well as a brief biography.

Year Released 1960
Record Label Folkways Records
Source Archive Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Copyright 2004 Smithsonian Folkways Recordings / 1960 Folkways Records
Genre(s) Jazz & Ragtime
Country(s) United States
Culture Group(s) Anglo-American
Instrument(s) Piano
Subject(s) Instrumental music; Oral history; Ragtime

Download Liner Notes

101 Cottontail Rag Joseph Lamb 3:14
102 Excelsior Rag Joseph Lamb 3:02
103 Cleopatra Rag Joseph Lamb 3:18
104 The Meeting with Scott Joplin Joseph Lamb 3:16
105 Sensation - A Rag Joseph Lamb 2:43
106 Arthur Marshall, Artie Mathews, James Scott Joseph Lamb 0:50
107 Topliner Rag Joseph Lamb 3:19
201 The Alaskan Rag Joseph Lamb 3:17
202 The Composition of "Nightingale" Joseph Lamb 1:46
203 The Ragtime Nightingale Joseph Lamb 3:38
204 American Beauty Rag Joseph Lamb 3:30
205 The Naming of Contentment Joseph Lamb 2:26
206 Contentment Rag Joseph Lamb 2:51
207 Patricia Rag Joseph Lamb 3:29
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