Many of you may wonder why I have put these two rather well-known Ragtime pianists together.
The first one pictured is the amazing Mike Bernard, who is often known for his extraordinary piano style and his complicated and nasty personal life. the second one is one that you all know, Freddy Hylands.
I have put these two together because I have just connected two completely different paths in Ragtime. How could Hylands have know Bernard? well, when Hylands got his first job on the stage on the east coast in c.1896-97, he was recruited by the very vaudeville circuit that Mike Bernard was already the star pianist of. Bernard must have been surprised that a new pianist was coming his way, and a damn good one! So upon hearing Hylands, Bernard must have nitpicked through his style and "taken" a few things with him(by this I mean that he took some licks of his and used them in his own solos). As i just listened to a few of Bernard's records, I just noticed that he has several similarities to Hylands' piano playing as heard on those Columbia brown wax records of over ten years prior. This would make lot of sense, I mean, if I ran into Hylands as my new sort of "replacement" and heard him play, I would use some of his licks!That trademark thing that Bernard always did with insanely fast notes and quick walking bass octaves must have come from somewhere! And it's clear that Bernard must have gotten his wild ideas when he performed from the great Freddy Hylands! Only because of what he improvised on those Columbia cylinders.
I hope you enjoyed this!