Jack Rummel is my favorite Ragtime composer; his Folk Ragtime and Bluegrass-influenced compositions bring me joy every time I play them. His Portrait of a Silver Lady—a lovely waltz—is an ode to the “tarnished opulence” of the California Zephyr, “the last surviving privately-owned passenger train in America” as of 1983.
The piece is quasi-episodic, with each section in a different key; the stately A section may have drawn inspiration from Scott Joplin’s Bethena. Periodic German sixth chords—like in the excerpt pictured—are welcome splashes of color. Portrait of a Silver Lady is featured in Rummel’s sheet music folio Nine Contemporary Rags, which also includes Waiting for the Zenith and The West Texas Fiddler; the folio can be purchased for $20 by writing to the composer at 3827 Doral Dr., Longmont, CO 80503.