AMERICAN BEAUTY RAG - JOSEPH LAMB (1913)
This rag is another beautiful Lamb creation and a revolutionary work. The first two sections here are examples of this composer's extraordinary lyricism and gift for long, arching melodies. Yet midway through this composition, beginning with the transition between B and C, Lamb takes quite a different direction. Suddenly the focus is on rhythm. The C section is remarkable in that, unlike any of the rags of this period, it seems to incorporate the "swing" rhythmic approach of jazz. Lamb notes the "swing"
as a dotted eighth and sixteenth note rhythm and effectively alternates it with a straight eighth rhythm. Also unusual in this rag is the increasing intensity of the piece, beginning with the C section and continuing until the end.