British conductor, musicologist, and producer Ian Whitcomb successfully raises the dead in this re-creation of songs played on board the Titanic the night of the ship's plunge. His White Star Orchestra assumes the ghost of bandleader Wallace Hartley, who entertained the White Star Line's first- and second-class passengers from the lounge and eventually atop the decks of the sinking vessel. With detailed liner notes about the music and excursion, this ear-opening collection provides pleasant and quaint parlor renditions of tunes like "Frankie and Johnny" and "Shine On Harvest Moon"--music that was still the standard when ragtime was only beginning to rankle Edwardian emotions. Whitcomb is also savvy enough to articulate the importance of these selections as musical wallpaper meant to be played behind the potted palm. --Joseph Lanza
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