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MMD > Archives > April 2010 > 2010.04.28 > 07Prev  Next

Printed Music of QRS 3818 "If I Could Be with You"
By Bob Pinsker

Hi all,  Carl Loeffelhardt asked whether anyone had transcribed
"If I Could Be With You" from QRS 3818, as played by composer James
P. Johnson (JPJ) and his protege, Thomas "Fats" Waller.

As our esteemed editor knows, the answer is "yes" -- Robbie and I have
played my arrangement/transcription a couple of times in concerts at
Old Town Music Hall, El Segundo, California.  It's part of a book of
transcriptions of James P. Johnson's rolls of his own compositions that
I completed in 2001 that has ever since awaited publication by the
James P. Johnson Foundation For Music and the Arts, Riverside, Calif.

That organization is founded and directed by JPJ's grandson, Barry
Glover.  The Foundation's email address is
(as usual, remove that last part to write them.)  Perhaps if the
Foundation were contacted by enough interested parties, it might prove
possible to overcome the legal hurdles that have delayed publication of
this folio -- the contract to do so was signed in 2003.

At any rate, it's indeed a beautiful roll arrangement.  J. Lawrence Cook
told Mike Montgomery how such four-handed arrangements could be recorded
in the interview from 1963, in the Billings rollography, Vol. 5.

Very best regards,
Bob Pinsker
San Diego, California

 [ In Vol. 5 Mike Montgomery is talking to J. Lawrence Cook --
 [   "Something I discovered recently which is very interesting, and
 [ that is that Waller and Johnson played two duets on rolls.  The first
 [ one was in 1926, "If I Could Be with You"; they're both on the roll.
 [   "Johnson (I just know because of my knowledge of the two styles)
 [ is playing the left-hand part and the melody, and Waller's playing
 [ the runs up here.  Now how would they have done this?  [Did] both
 [ sit down at the piano?"
 [ Hmmm, I don't think those big fellows could've fit on one piano bench!
 [ -- Robbie  ;-)

(Message sent Wed 28 Apr 2010, 19:13:01 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  3818, Be, Could, I, If, Music, Printed, QRS, You

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