Hello MMD readers, Some of the recent issues of this newsletter have
mentioned sources for Welte Licensee rolls, so I thought I'd mention
that Artist's Choice Rolls in Ohio has a web page on our site. Check
out the titles here: http://www.wiscasset.net/artcraft/pratt.htm
These are re-releases by Robin Pratt, who is a musician beyond being
a piano and player action technician. He has selected these for their
sparkling expression, the arrangements (which have the Howard Lutter
influence, in many cases) and the total performance on a player piano.
I bought a number of these, when they were first announced, and have
been very happy with my purchases. Artists' Choice Rolls have very
good boxes, which, I have to admit, outclass my high quality ones for
Artcraft releases, if the printed labels are part of the equation.
The brown box Weltes, if from the Deluxe (Kohler & Campbell/Autopiano)
arranging department, by and large perform equally well on a standard
88-note instrument as they do on a Welte expression player. One might
say that they were "Artempo Rolls with extra holes on the margins."
MMD readers know that most old commercial rolls are a turn-off for me,
which is how I got involved with roll making so many decades ago, but
the brown box Weltes were an exception in this former industry. The
rolls shipped from Sandusky, Ohio, to me have been played on both my
S&S electric AR Duo-Art and the pedal O grand, using 'Magic Plus' tape
over certain holes on the tracker bars. I'm considering playing a
couple of them at the next pianola concert in Searsport, Maine, this
weekend (Saturday: 14th, starting at 7:30 p.m.). Ordinarily, I toss in
an old, often comic roll to use as a 'Brand X' comparison to the modern
fare we perform there, but some of these Welte reissues are good enough
to stand next to our Interpretive Arrangements (if one dismisses the
homogeneous stepping in the series of note perforations). The 1929
Reprotone at Searsport Shores Camping doesn't require any tape on the
tracker bar, for it alternates between 88 and 80 playing keys, with a
cutoff switch made for the purpose by Story & Clark.
Also, regarding the Saturday musicales, I just discovered that there
will be nine in the series, instead of eight, as announced previously.
I forgot that there were five Saturdays when one counts August, having
started the recitals on June 30th, with Sunday being the first day of
At any rate, we encourage those who enjoy great rolls to check out the
offerings by Artists' Choice Rolls. (If you are a dog lover, be sure
to click on the photographic link at the bottom of their page!)
Douglas Henderson - Artcraft Music Rolls