Edward Ratliff

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Primary Instrument: Cornet

Edward Ratliff is a New York City-based composer, bandleader and multi-instrumentalist (trumpet, cornet, trombone, euphonium and accordion). He has been called “a wonderfully spunky and imperturbable trumpet player” (The New York Times) and “a fine musician who possesses a clever and crafty compositional pen” (

The music he makes is inspired by a wide range of sources, including kung fu movies, jazz, boleros, cha cha and tango, the golden age of Hollywood, 18th-century Bohemian wind music, ambient grooves, Vietnamese pop music and free improvisation....
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”...[Barcelona in 48 Hours] is an intriguing tone poem that repays repeated listening... Ratliff's method of theme and reiterations (rather than variations) recalls Gato Barbieri's soundtrack for Last Tango in Paris.” --John Walters, The Guardian

”...composer-brassmeister-accordionist Ratliff has fashioned a little quintet that sustains its tenderness and agility while still blowing like Vesuvius. Factor in the gypsy strain that arrives via the Far East and you've got singularity, too.” --Jim Macnie, Village Voice

”...fetching, globe-trotting, and insatiably romantic, [Barcelona in 48 Hours] entrances within seconds, begs you to get involved, and ages with grace... The mixture of styles and instruments is unconventional to say the least, and Ratliff's compositions have a persistently magnetic quality.” --Nils Jacobson, All About Jazz

”...colorful, stylistically eclectic and humor-filled... this is tightly arranged stuff... give the group credit for playing the charts with a verve and spontaneous feel that enlivens them even further.” --Harvey Pekar, Jazz Times

”This ensemble achieves a wonderfully large sound for a quintet, in the manner of the grand old Mingus groups where the whole was always greater than the sum of the parts... Ratliff, meanwhile, who is the driving force behind Rhapsodalia, and Attias are outstanding soloists--as is Bardfeld. A great disc.” --Robert Spencer, Cadence

”...a wonderfully spunky and imperturbable trumpet player.” --The New York Times

”Ratliff and his New York City-based band Rhapsodalia go straight to one's heart and imagination while injecting strong doses of whimsy and artful musicianship... [he] is a fine musician who possesses a clever and crafty compositional pen... Strongly recommended.” --Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz

”Big, bright, and expansive... those looking for creative, theatrical, world-stretching jazz need look no further than Wong Fei-Hong Meets Little Strudel.” --Andrew Bartlett,

”I am most impressed with this quirky CD... Although this is only a quintet, they sound much larger... It would not sound out of place on Zorn's filmworks series...” --Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter

”Wong Fei-Hong Meets Little Strudel is surprisingly sturdy and swinging, with just enough in the way of smarts to balance out the deadpan humor.”

”Think Fiddler on the Roof meets The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and you may get a tiny grasp of what this music is all about.” --Benji Knudsen, The Vermont Review

”Edward Ratliff's music, with its music box fragility... evoke[s] a solemn but pleasant eeriness.” --Burt Supree, Village Voice

  • Those Moments Before

  • Barcelona in 48 Hours

  • Barcelona in 48 Hours

  • Wong Fei-Hong Meets Little Strudel


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CD/LP/Track Review

Those Moments Before by Troy Collins

Those Moments Before by Jerry D'Souza

Barcelona in 48 Hours by AAJ Staff

Barcelona in 48 Hours by AAJ Staff

Barcelona in 48 Hours by Jerry D'Souza

Barcelona In 48 Hours by Jim Santella

Barcelona in 48 Hours by Dan McClenaghan

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