[15 January 2007]
Ricky Jay Plays Poker contains a few noteworthy revelations; first and foremost, there are more songs about poker than you may imagine. Secondly, Ricky Jay, jack of all slight-of-hand trades, performs an amazing trick where he knocks an egg into a glass by merely flicking a playing card at it. The later stunt you must see to believe on an accompanying DVD. His poker-themed CD, however, favors musical variety over illusionary. Take your pick, almost every genre is represented. Bob Dylan provides the acoustic guitar folk, Anita O’Day jazzes it up, and Memphis Minnie sings the blues. Nothing here, however, whether visual or auditory, provides an ace in the whole for the next World Series of Poker contest. But you will walk away convinced that the gambling song back catalogue is one stacked deck.