In what may be the greatest discovery in the jazz and ragtime
piano roll field since Jelly Roll Morton's lost roll "The Pearls" resurfaced in
Massachusetts, the lost roll Scott Joplin recorded for Connorized in 1916,
Pleasant Moments - Ragtime Waltz, has
I discovered the roll in an Ebay purchase, in the incorrect box. As a fan of
ragtime, I knew instantly that this was the lost Joplin roll that collectors had
been seeking for forty years or more.
Thanks to the development of roll scanning technology, within 2
hours of the roll arriving at my house, it had traveled by e-mail to Wiltshire,
England, where the punch matrix was recovered by Anthony Robinson. In layman's
terms, the punch matrix means that perforations can only be in certain places.
The recovery uses this mathematical principle to eliminate all errors caused by
the original perforating machinery and the roll scanning equipment, allowing a
perfect replica of a production roll to be created.
here to listen to a MIDI file of the scanned roll
The recovered roll file was then perforated in London and
recorded by pianolist extraordinaire Mr. Worn Axles on a Steck grand piano.
Click here to listen to an mp3 of
the roll, realised by Worn Axles. (2.1mb)
The roll file was also emailed to Nevada, where Bob Billings
will perforate high-quality copies. These will be painstakingly checked to ensure
accuracy, and soon be offered for sale.
None of this would have been possible without the
marvellous technology that has been developed over the last decade by those
dedicated to the preservation of player rolls.
I produced and sold over 80 recut copies of the
'Pleasant Moments' roll in two versions - an edited version, that corrected the
mistakes while leaving everything else original, and a completely unedited
version, with the mistakes intact. The production run has now finished.