You really need a lot of enthusiasm to spend hours on end, evening after evening, year after year, sorting through old piano rolls. Player pianos were all the rage at the beginning of the twentieth century. A pianist – often a composer – had to record his or her work once. The music is stored by perforating paper rolls (like old punch cards) that can be replayed over and over. Thousands of these old rolls were made before they were displaced by the long-playing record.
The Finnish guitarist Lotta-Maria Saksa took on the task of transferring this piano music straight from the original rolls to the guitar. While there are many scores for these pieces, they often lack the rhythmic directions. Lotta-Maria Saksa really wanted to steer as closely as possible to the original groove. But because a single guitar cannot cover all registers of the piano, she decided to make the arrangement for guitar duet. The result is hundreds of amazing arrangements of old jazz standards and almost forgotten hits. Just how fascinating these arrangements are can be heard on the recently released CD “You’re The Cream In My Coffee”. As a classically-trained guitarist, Saksa has all the required skills for this immense project. Be that as it may, she does get the groove straight from the old masters of the piano. Listening to the recordings will transport you to another era. You'll be surprised at how fresh and youthful this music sounds.