New Releases: March -> December, 2011
Jazz, Dance Bands & Vocalists
Henry "Red" Allen  -> Clarence Williams




HENRY "RED" ALLEN Membran 222401 Jazz Edition - Quadromania ● CD $10.98
Four CDs, 63 tracks, highly recommended
Another splendid low priced set of vintage jazz in Membran's Quadromania series - this time featuring the superb trumpeter Henry "Red" Allen with his band recorded between 1932 and 1952. Allen had a long and distinguished career and these sides feature such great sidemen as Pee Wee Russell, Joe Sullivan, Eddie Condon, "Fats" Waller, "Pops" Foster, Tommy Dorsey, Tab Smith, J.C. Higginbotham and many more. Tunes are a mix of Allen originals, jazz standards, blues and lively renditions of pop songs. Fine music with excellent sound. (FS)

LOUIS ARMSTRONG Universal (France) 533 607-9 The Complete Masters, 1925-1945 ● CD $85.98
One of a series of 13 to 15 CD box sets from Universal in France devoted to providing a comprehensive overview of various major jazz figures. Each set comes in a handsome 5.5" x 7.5 x 2" box (equivalent to 8 CDs for shipping purposes) with seven double CDs housed in sturdy cardboards sleeves accompanied by a 68 page book with notes in English and French and many photos (some in color) along with complete discographical information. Sound quality is superb.
This volume is devoted to the work of one of the most important musicians in the history of jazz - a cornet and trumpet player who has influenced just about every player of the instrument in jazz. From his seminal recordings with his Hot Five and Hot Seven through his big band recordings with his Orchestra we have one classic performance after another. The first 13 tracks features every master take of his recordings made between 1925 and 1945 and the 14th features a selection his earlier work with King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, Clarence Williams' Blue Five and others as well accompaniments to blues singers Eva Taylor and Bessie Smith. If you are a serious jazz fan you probably have evrything here - possibly several times over - but if you're new to the music or only have a handful of Armstrong's here's a chance to hear more than 300 tracks of some of the greatest jazz ever recorded.

MILDRED BAILEY Membran 222404 Sunday, Monday Or Always ● CD $10.98
Four CDs, 91 tracks, highly recommended
Another one of those fine and incredibly low priced sets in the Quadromania series - this time devoted to "The Rocking Chair Lady" Mildred Bailey. Bailey, a white jazz singer influenced by Ethel Waters and Bessie Smith, recorded with the greatest musicians of the time, made consistently excellent records, and never caused much of a splash commercially. Considered to be "one of the three or four greatest singers in jazz" by no less an authority than record producer John Hammond, Bailey tackled songs by Hoagy Carmichael, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, and W.C. Handy with equal aplomb. She became known as "The Rockin' Chair Lady" after popularizing Hoagy Carmichael's Rockin' Chair with her 1932 recording of the song. This collection spans the period 1935 through 1947 and features her second recording of the song from 1937 and another from 1941 with The Delta Rhythm Boys who accompany her on half a dozen tracks. Featured musicians include Red Norvo (her husband), Teddy Wilson, Charlie Shavers, Mary Lou Williams, Roy Eldridge, Coleman Hawkins, Hank D'Amico, Buster Bailey, Ellis Larkins, and many others. It's a shame this doesn't include any of her earlier but otherwise this is a fine introduction to this splendid artist. (FS)

CHARLIE BARNET & HIS ORCHESTRA Membran 222406 Swing Street Strut ● CD $10.98
Another great collection of classic jazz at a bargain price. Four CD set at an incredibly low price featuring 80 tracks by this fine integrated big band led by tenor and alto saxist Barnet recorded between 1933 and 1954 and featuring a wide array of musicians and vocalists including Toots Camarata, Helen Heath, Eddie Sauter, Red Norvo, Benny Carter, Laura Deane, Don McCook, Charlie Shavers, Billy May, Mary Ann McCall, Johnny Owens, Herbert "Peanuts" Holland, Buddy DeFranco, Dodo Marmarosa, Kay Starr, Porky Cohen, Barney Kessel, Si Zentner, Georgie Auld and many others. Decent sound and booklet has discographical details.

SIDNEY BECHET Universal (France) 533 616-7 The Complete American Masters, 1931-1953 ● CD $75.98
One of a series of 13 to 15 CD box sets from Universal in France devoted to providing a comprehensive overview of various major jazz figures. Each set comes in a handsome 5.5" x 7.5 x 2" box (equivalent to 8 CDs for shipping purposes) with seven double CDs housed in sturdy cardboards sleeves accompanied by a 68 page book with notes in English and French and many photos (some in color) along with complete discographical information. Sound quality is superb.
This volume is devoted to the great clarinetist and soprano saxophonist Sidney Bechet. The title on this set is a trifle misleading. The first disc is a selection of sides Bechet played on between 1923 and 1932 - mostly as a member of Clarence Williams' Blue Five. The next 11 CDs present all the masters Bechet was on between 1934 and 1953 recorded in the USA (he made quite a few recordings in Europe in the 1940s which are not included here). The 14th disc features a selection of titles from radio broadcasts and private recordings made between 1939 and 1946.

CHARLIE CHRISTIAN Uptown Jazz 27.63 Electric ● CD $16.98
17 tracks, 55 mins, essential
Who knows where Charlie Christian's talents would have taken him had he not succumbed to tuberculosis in 1942 at the age of 26. One of the pioneers of electric jazz guitar his technique was to influence thousands of musicians across all spectrums of music since his untimely death. This wonderful set features four sides from a 1939 after hours jam session with tenor saxist Jerry Jerome, pianist Frankie Hines on piano and a young Oscar Pettiford on bass. The remaining tracks feature him with the Benny Goodman Sextet on radio broadcasts from 1939 and '40 with Lionel Hampton on vibes and Fletcher Henderson or Johnny Guarnieri. The merits of almost every cut here are obvious, displaying that magical live "edge" that makes this music so vibrant and swinging 50 years later. In comparison to some of the studio recordings, Christian plays like a man possessed - more adventuresome, supremely confident, and delivering each awesome solo as though he knew it might be his last. And he was not the only one ascending to the peaks of inspiration - listen to Hampton, Goodman, Guarnieri and the rest of BG's stellar outfit on the startlingly modern AC/DC Current, the rabid Dinah, and the always swingin' 'Till Tom Special/ Gone With What Wind for confirmation. These tracks have been reissued before but what makes this release so significant is that the tracks have been newly remastered from the acetates owned by Jerry Newhouse and while I don't have acess to previous reissues to compare, the sound here is simply stunning with crystal clarity on the solos and richness to the ensemble playing. Comes with great 28 page booklet with extensive notes by Frank Driggs and a slew of great photos. (FS)

JOHN COLTRANE Jasmine 688 Countdown, The Classic Albums 1958-59 ● CD $18.98
2 CDs, 24 tracks, essential
The name John Coltrane needs no introduction; he was simply one of the premiere jazzmen of his era. The title of this compilation is accurate as it contains three of his most important, influential, and popular albums: "Blue Train" (1957 with Lee Morgan, Curtis Fuller, Paul Chambers, etc.), "Giant Steps" (1959 with Tommy Flanagan, Paul CHambers & Art Taylor), and "Coltrane Jazz" (recorded in 1959, released in 1960 - with Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers & Jimmy Cobb). The fourth album, "Soul Trane" (1958) a collaboration with the Red Garland Trio, is the forgotten gem of the set and ripe for rediscovery. His sole recording for Blue Note records, "Blue Train" is Coltrane's first classic album, while "Giant Steps" (his first album for Atlantic Records) pretty much set the standard for 60's Jazz, and "Coltrane Jazz" was the consolidation album. All jazz novices or anyone curious about 'Trane couldn't do better than to start with nicely priced collection. (GMC)

DUKE ELLINGTON Storyville 1038415 At The Cotton Club ● CD $15.98
Two CD set with 48 tracks featuring live performances broadcast from New York's legendary Cotton Club in 1938 and '39 recorded off the air by musicologist Joseph Schillinger with what was, at the time, state of the art recording equipment. Ellington's band at the time included Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart, Joseph Nanton, Barney Bigard, Johnny HOdges, Harry Carney, Fred Guy, Sonny Greer and many other legendary performers. Includes versions of many of Ellington's most famous compositions including Mood Indigo/ East St. Louis Toodle-Oo/ Solitude/ Azure/ Riding On A Blue Note/ Rockin' In Rhythm and many others. This set also includes a couple of Ellington solo piano performances from "Saturday Night Swing Club" in 1937 and a 1939 broadcast made in Sweden on Duke's 40th birthday. As a bonus there is a brief 80 second newsreel clip from 1933 on disc 2 which can viewed on a computer. It shows Harlem's Lenox Avenue and looks into the club for a glimpse of Ellington, the orchestra, and some of the famous Cotton Club dancing beauties.

ELLA FITZGERALD Universal (France) 533 610-1 The Complete Masters, 1935-1955 ● CD $75.98
One of a series of 13 to 15 CD box sets from Universal in France devoted to providing a comprehensive overview of various major jazz figures. Each set comes in a handsome 5.5" x 7.5 x 2" box (equivalent to 8 CDs for shipping purposes) with seven double CDs housed in sturdy cardboards sleeves accompanied by a 68 page book with notes in English and French and many photos (some in color) along with complete discographical information. Sound quality is superb.
This volume is devoted to the great jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald featuring the complete master takes of all the recordings she made between 1939 and 1955 from her first session in June, 1935 when she was a vocalist with the Chick Webb Orchestra to an August, 1955 session with Toots Camera and His Orchestra. She is heard in the company of all kinds of great jazz musicians as well as vocal collaborations with The Mills Brothers, The Four Keys, The Ink Spots, Louis Jordan, Louis Armstrong, The Skylarks and others.

BILLIE HOLIDAY Universal (France) 533 614-4 The Complete Masters, 1933-1959 ● CD $75.98
One of a series of 13 to 15 CD box sets from Universal in France devoted to providing a comprehensive overview of various major jazz figures. Each set comes in a handsome 5.5" x 7.5 x 2" box (equivalent to 8 CDs for shipping purposes) with seven double CDs housed in sturdy cardboards sleeves accompanied by a 68 page book with notes in English and French and many photos (some in color) along with complete discographical information. Sound quality is superb.
This volume has 15 CDs to enable the compilers to include every studio master take of every song recorded by Billie Holiday during her life - some of the greatest jazz and blues singing ever recorded.

PHILIP LEWIS & THE RHYTHM MANIACS Retrieval 79064 The Hottest Recordings Of Philip Lewis & The Rhythm Man ● CD $10.98
24 tracks, 70 mins, recommended
When British Decca started in'29, its house band for chugging out stock arrangements of hits was Philip Lewis & His Dance Orch, with some tunes coming out as by The Rhythm Maniacs. Lewis, director of "light music" for Decca, had nothing to do with these, the band was led by Arthur Lally who allowed ample solo space, making these quite a step above the average dance band, particularly since the principle soloists were Sylvester Ahola (t), Danny Polo (reeds), & Lally himself who, besides the usual reeds played such a hot bass sax that it was long thought to be Adrian Rollini. This fine collection of sides recorded in 1929 and 1930 includes vocals by Maurice Elwain, Leslie Sarony and Elsie Carlisle. Tunes include My KInda Love/ There's One Thing Remains/ Diga Diga Doo (with scatting by Lally)/ Imaginations Goes Long Long Way/ Why Can't You/ Raisin' The Roof/ That's A PLenty and more. (GM/ FS)

JIMMIE LUNCEFORD Membran 222456 Jazz Edition - Quadromania ● CD $10.98
Four CDs, 80 tracks, highly recommended
Another fine budget priced selection in Membran's Quadromania series - this time devoted to the Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra - considered by many to be the best in the business. Most of the vocals are by Dan Grissom whose style is rather bland but was, apparently, an influence on the later "cool" singers like Nat Cole & Charles Brown. The band featured such great musicians as Willie Smith, Trummy Young, Eddie Durham, Benny Waters & Joe Thomas, with arrangements by the immortal Sy Oliver. It includes the original versions of such oft-covered classics as Blues In The Night & Tain't What You Do (It's The Way That You Do It) & a great version of The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down. Also includes his later hits such as the vocal group classic It Had To Be You & covers of The Honeydripper & Cement Mixer (Put-Ti-Put-Ti). (GM/ FS)

JAY MCSHANN Night Train 7021 Piano Playhouse ● CD $13.98
Available again. 21 track collections featuring all of McShann's Supreme and Swingtime recordings cut between 1947 and 1950 including three previously unissued alternate takes and some accompaniments to Jimmy Witherspoon and an unnanmed but fine female singer.
JAY MCSHANN: 12 O'Clock Whistle/ Ain't Nobody's Business/ Black Train Blues/ Buttermilk/ Drunk, Broke and Hungry/ Geronimo/ Hard Workin' Man's Blues/ Hot Biscuits/ How Long/ McShann's Bounce (Pt. 1)/ McShann's Bounce (Pt. 2)/ McShann's Bounce (Pt. 2)/ Mellow Dog/ Mr. Hootie/ Mr. Hootie (Unknown Alternate Take)/ No Name Boogie/ Sloppy Drunk/ Slow Drag Blues/ Soft Winds/ Someone To Watch Over Me/ Thinking About My Baby/ You Turned Your Back On Me

THE MILLS BROTHERS Fantastic Voyage 132 Swing It ● CD $22.98
Another terrific compilation from Fantastic Voyage - this one devoted to a retrospective of one of the all time great vocal groups The Mills Brothers. It traces the group's output from their earliest singles through to the last of their recordings for Decca Records in the late 1950s. It show the groups adeptness in adapting to range of styles from smooth harmony to jazz to rock 'n' roll. This three CD set has 83 tracks - 67 of them U.S. chart hits.
THE MILLS BROTHERS: A Carnival In Venice/ A Shoulder To Weep On/ Across The Alley From The Alamo/ Baby Won't You Please Come Home/ Be My Life's Companion/ Big Boy Blue (with Ella Fitzgerald)/ Bugle Call Rag/ By The Watermelon Vine, Lindy Lou (with Roy Felton)/ Chinatown, My Chinatown/ Coney Island Washboard/ Daddy's Little Girl/ Darling Nelly Gray (with Louis Armstrong)/ Dedicated To You (with Ella Fitzgerald)/ Dinah [Bing Crosby & The Mills Brothers]/ Don't Be A Baby, Baby/ Dream, Dream, Dream/ Fairy Tales (with Ella Fitzgerald)/ Gloria/ Good-Bye Blues/ Got Her Off My Hands/ Gum Drop/ How Blue?/ I Don't Know Enough About You/ I Guess I'll Get The Papers (And Go Home)/ I Heard/ I Love You So Much It Hurts/ I Wish/ I Yi Yi Yi, Amigo (Cielito Lindo) (Wish Me Luck Amigo)/ I'll Be Around/ I've Found A New Baby/ I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm/ If I Had My Way/ If You Didn't Cry/ It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)/ Lazy River/ Lazybones/ Loveless Love/ Manana (Is Soon Enough For Me)/ Money In My Clothes/ Nevertheless (I'm In Love With You)/ Nobody's Sweetheart Now/ Oh, My Achin' Heart/ Opus One/ Paper Doll/ Paper Valentine/ Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone/ Pretty Butterfly/ Put Another Chair At The Table/ Queen Of The Senior Prom/ Rockin' Chair/ Say Si Si/ She Was Five And He Was Ten/ Shine [Bing Crosby & The Mills Brothers]/ Sixty Seconds Got Together/ Sleepy Head/ Smack Dab In The Middle/ Someday (You'll Want Me To Want You)/ St Louis Blues/ Standing On The Corner/ Suddenly There's A Valley/ Sweet Adeline/ Sweet Sue, Just You/ Swing It, Sister/ That's Right/ The Flat Foot Floogie (with Louis Armstrong)/ The Glow-Worm/ The Jones Boy/ The Knocked-Out Nightingale/ There's No One But You/ Tiger Rag/ Till Then/ Too Many Irons In The Fire/ Twice As Much/ WPA [Louis Armstrong & The Mills Brothers]/ When I Lost You/ When You Were Sweet Sixteen/ Who Put The Devil In Evelyn's Eyes/ Who'll Be The Next One (To Cry Over You)/ You Always Hurt The One You Love/ You Didn't Want Me When You Had Me (So Why Do You Want Me Now)/ You Rascal, You/ You Tell Me Your Dream And I'll Tell You Mine/ You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You

CHARLIE PARKER Universal (France) 533 612-3 The Complete Masters, 1941-1954 ● CD $75.98
One of a series of 13 to 15 CD box sets from Universal in France devoted to providing a comprehensive overview of various major jazz figures. Each set comes in a handsome 5.5" x 7.5 x 2" box (equivalent to 8 CDs for shipping purposes) with seven double CDs housed in sturdy cardboards sleeves accompanied by a 68 page book with notes in English and French and many photos (some in color) along with complete discographical information. Sound quality is superb.
This volume is devoted to the greatest figure in bebop - Charlie "Bird" Parker. Unlike others in this series this one is only 13 CDs (!). The first 11 CDs features master takes of all his studio recordings starting with an April, 1941 session as a member of the Jay McShann Orchestra with vocals by Walter Brown to a December, 1954 session with his Quintet just a few months before his early death at the age of 35. The last two CDs feature rare live recordings and radio broadcasts ranging from a 1940 broadcast with the Jay McShann Octet to a 1953 broadcast with his Quintet.

LOUIS PRIMA Bear Family BCD 17203 With Sam Butera & Keely Smith ● CD $21.98
30 tracks, 87 min., very highly recommended
Italian American Prima regularly lost out on gigs for much of his career because many venue owners thought he was black and trying to pass, thanks to his olive skin, dark curly hair, and New Orleans accent. On the other hand, he had strong support in the many black communities for the same reason. These recordings, part of Bear Family's "Velvet Lounge" series, collected from Prima's many Capital sides between 1957-63, represent the last comeback of the singer's lengthy career. Exactly why Prima never quite got the respect he deserved while he was walking the planet, these sides will not answer because the music is about as fun as music gets. It's nearly impossible to refrain from smiling as Prima swings through Just A Gigolo/ I Ain't Got Nobody (later covered by David Lee Roth) or when Sam Butera sings Ten Little Women. Thirty cuts and not a dog in the pack. The usual above average approach from the German label that could and did and does, including about the longest running time imaginable for a CD at 86:55. This is what entertainment means. (JC)

LOUIS PRIMA Proper BOX 156 Buona Sera - Featuring Keely Smith & Sam Butera ● CD $25.98
4 CDs, 80 tracks, 241 mins, highly recommended
Louis Prima has probably never really been quite in fashion, but he has always been well-loved, with new fans spring up all of the time. Prima is like the hot chocolate of music: most people wouldn't consider hot chocolate a drink of much substance, but there are few that won't enjoy a hot cup in front of them, This collection covers quite a bit of ground, from the loud boisterous show tunes, to cool jazz, to Italian love songs, to standards from the great American songbook. So on one of these disks you can get a spastic Sputnik era rocker about falling in love with an alien beauty--Beep, Beep -- along side pop standards tunes like Love Is A Many Splendored Thing and The White Cliffs Of Dover, next to a Jazz standard like Bourbon Street Blues. So many great tunes throughout: Sing, Sing, Sing/ That Old Black Magic/ Oh Marie!/ Jump, Jive An' Wail/ Banana Split For My Baby/ Night Train/ Fever/ Skinny Minnie/ Lazy River, and so many more, done in Prima's hyper-kinetic style. This has all of his classic recordings and so much more, with rowdy live performances throughout. Of course, the lovely Keely Smith lends her sultry and playful vocals on a number of tunes and the mighty Sam Butera & The Witnesses not only provide powerful backing, but Sam himself jumps up to the microphone on a handful of songs. This is the definitive collection on Louie Prima et. al, easily the best and most comprehensive collection that has been released. Proper does the proper job on this, so the collection comes with extensive liner notes and complete recording information. (JM)
LOUIS PRIMA: (I'll Be Glad When You're Dead) You Rascal You/ (Nothing's Too Good) For My Baby/ A Foggy Day/ Angelina - Zooma Zooma/ Autumn Leaves/ Baby Won't You Please Come Home./ Banana Split For My Baby/ Basin Street Blues - When It's Sleepy Time Down South/ Be Mine (Little Baby)/ Beep! Beep!/ Bim Bam/ Blow, Red, Blow/ Body And Soul/ Bourbon Street Blues/ Buona Sera/ Chantilly Lace/ Come Back To Sorrento/ Don't Let A Memory Break Your Heart/ Don't Take Your Love From Me/ Don't Worry 'Bout Me - I'm In The Mood For Love/ Easy Rockin'/ Embraceable You - I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good/ Equator/ Fee Fie Foo/ Felica No Capicia/ Fever/ Five Months, Two Weeks, Two Days/ French Poodle/ Good Gracious Baby/ Gotta See Baby Tonight/ Greenback Dollar Bill/ Handle With Care/ Hey Boy, Hey Girl/ Hey Boy, Hey Girl (reprise)/ Hey There/ Holiday For Strings/ How High The Moon/ I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues/ I Kiss Your Hand Madame/ I've Got The World On A String/ I've Got You Under My Skin/ If You Were The Only Girl/ It's Better Than Nothing At All./ Judy/ Jump, Jive An' Wail/ Just A Gigolo-I Ain't Got Nobody/ Kansas City/ Lazy River/ Love Charm/ Love Is A Many Splendored Thing/ Love Of My Life (O Sole Mio)/ Moonglow/ Night Train/ Nothing's Too Good For My Baby/ Oh! Marie/ Oh! Marie/ On The Sunny Side Of The Street - Exactly Like You/ Pennies From Heaven/ Perdido/ Robin Hood - Oh Babe!/ Sentimental Journey/ Should I? - I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me/ Sing, Sing, Sing/ Skinny Minnie/ Ten Little Women/ That Old Black Magic./ That's My Home/ The Birth Of The Blues/ The Closer To The Bone/ The Lip/ The Pump Song/ The White Cliffs Of Dover/ Them There Eyes - Honeysuckle Rose/ There'll Be No Next Time/ Tiger Rag - Just Because/ Too Marvellous For Words/ Twinkle In Your Eye/ When The Saints Go Marching In/ When You're Smiling - The Sheik Of Araby/ Whistle Stop

BUDDY TATE Night Train 7023 Tate's A Jumpin' ● CD $13.98
Available again. Rare 40s recordings by former Basie sideman including some accompaniments to Jimmy Witherspoon.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Archeophone 9013 1906 - When Things Was Looking Bright ● CD $14.98
27 tracks, 74 mins, highly recommended
Not a new release but not reviewed before. It's kind of spooky that I am reviewing this CD only days after the nasty earthquakes that just hit Japan, seeing as the pivotal event that happened in 1906 was the S.F. earthquake. Listening to a collection like this is much like listening to recordings made by ghosts in the first place, with every artist on this long dead for decades, pretty fascinating none-the less. This collection features rare recordings made by the big names of the day like Billy Murray; Everybody Works, But Father/ The Grand Old Rag, etc., Bert Williams; Nobody, and Let It Alone, and other popular acts like Ada Jones, Arthur Pryor's Band, Edward M. Favor, Henry Burr, and Harry Tally to name just a few. You also get some proper opera with Enrico Caruso and Antonio Scott, as well as Classical of a sort with Corinne Morgan and The Haydn Quartet doing How'd You Like To Spoon With Me? This is certainly a fascinating romp through history and I'll bet that you will come away from this set humming many of the tunes. Extensive liner notes tell all the stories of the age and help put everything in perspective. (JM)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Black Swan 38 Paramount Chicago Jazz Bands ● CD $14.98
20 tracks, highly recommended
Superb collection of jazz recorded for the legendary Paramount label in Chicago between 1923 and 1928 under the supervision of J. Mayo Williams. Their are five tracks (including two alternate takes) by the magnificent King Oliver's Jazz Band featuring an incredible line up with Oliver & Louis Armstrong on cornets and Johnny Dodds on clarinet. There are two tracks by the outstanding piano player Lovie Austin with her Blues Serenaders (Tommy Ladnier, Jimmy O'Bryant, etc.,) The Dixie Four is the name of a blues flavored quartet featuring the twin pianos of Jimmy Blythe and Buddy Burton. Other groups include Charles Pierce & His Orchestra (with Muggsy Spanier/ cnt and Frank Teschemacher/ cl & as), Ollie Power's Harmony Syncopaters, Preston Jacoson & His Uptown Band and Richard M. Jones & His Jazz Wizards. Sounds is excellent and there are informative notes by Paige VanVorst. About a third of the tracks were reissued a while ago on JSPs four CD set of Paramount jazz (JSP 960 - $28.98) but the remaining tracks make this more than worthwhile. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Chrome Dreams 5042 1959 - The Year That Jazz Changed ● CD $21.98 $13.98
4 CDs, 46 tracks, 294 mins, essential
Despite the Rock & Roll era being in full bloom, 1959 was a huge year in Jazz music. This features four hugely influential Jazz records from that year, all critical successes, groundbreaking work and at least two of them being gigantic sellers as well. In this set you get: Miles Davis' "Kind Of Blue," Ornette Coleman's "The Shape Of Jazz To Come," Charles Mingus "Mingus Ah Um," and The Dave Brubeck Quartet's "Time Out," all in their entirety and all with several bonus tracks. You have the start of a very cool Jazz collection with just this set. All four of these albums are essential titles and the bonus tracks on each are substantial, with the bonus music on Ornette Coleman's actually taking up more time that the original record. Whether the essential cool of Miles Davis, the innovative time signatures of Dave Brubeck, or the pioneering Free Jazz of Ornette Coleman and Charles Mingus, what you get is the core of one of the most important years for Jazz music, one of the most endlessly enjoyable as well. All four of these records have had volumes written about them, so I won't try and add to that with my limited knowledge; what I will focus on is how fantastic it is to have all of this great music in one very well put together set. If you don't have these essential releases, you should; even if you do, the bonus tracks alone might be worth the purchase. (JM)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fantastic Voyage 094 The Sisters Anthology - A Celebration Of Four Decades ● CD $19.98
2 CDs, 38 tracks, 1 hour 41 min., essential
A four-decade tour of singing sister genre in more-or-less chronological order, beginning with a 1924 version of Red Hot Mama by the Bronx Sisters. Disc 1 (1924-1946) rarely fails to delight with its mix of familiar acts (e.g., The Andrew Sisters singing the classic Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and the Fontane Sisters wonderful Linger In My Arms A Little Longer) and the obscure curiosities, such as The Gumm Sisters' Where The Butterflies Kiss The Buttercups Goodnight, which might be too cute by half were it not for the presence of the very young Judy Garland. The Ponce Sisters' Fit As A Fiddle, which features the playing of Jimmy Dorsey, could hardly be better. And if listening to the Andrews Sisters don Jamaican accents for their version of Rum And Coca-Cola doesn't make you smile for one reason or another, you may be unwell. Disc 2 (1947-1959) continues the trend, even as the form develops. Highlights include the Clooney Sisters (featuring Rosemary, of course), the Carter Sisters (yes, from that Carter family), featuring Chet Atkins on guitar, and the Dinning Sisters charmer, Buttons And Bows. For obscurity, there's the Clark Sisters singing Take The "A" Train. Informative booklet notes, 32 different sister acts, and excellent sound throughout make this a must-have. The only slight quibble is in the short running time--it could have been a lot longer. (JC)
THE ANDREWS SISTERS: Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy/ Rum And Coca Cola/ THE BARRY SISTERS: My Yiddishe Momme/ THE BELL SISTERS: Wheel Of Fortune/ THE BONNIE SISTERS: Cry Baby/ THE BOSWELL SISTERS: Forty-Second Street/ Object Of My Affection, The/ THE BROX SISTERS: Red Hot Mama/ THE CARTER SISTERS & CHET ATKINS: I Don't Believe Them At All/ THE CLARK SISTERS: Take The 'A' Train/ THE CLOONEY SISTERS: Euphoria/ THE DE CASTRO SISTERS: Teach Me Tonight/ THE DEJOHN SISTERS: My Baby Don't Love Me No More/ THE DEMARCO SISTERS: California Sunbeam/ Dinah/ THE DI MARA SISTERS: Tea For Two/ THE DINNING SISTERS: Buttons And Bows/ THE DUNCAN SISTERS: I'm Following You/ THE FONTAINE SISTERS: Linger In My Arms A Little Longer Baby/ THE FONTANE SISTERS: Missouri Waltz/ THE GUMM SISTERS: Where The Butterflies Kiss The Buttercups Goodnight/ THE KELLER SISTERS & LYNCH: Sunday/ THE KING SISTERS: Deep Purple/ Stardust/ THE LENNON SISTERS: Tonight You Belong To Me/ THE LEWIS SISTERS: S'Wonderful/ THE MCGUIRE SISTERS: Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight/ Sincerely/ THE MOYLAN SISTERS: Danny Boy/ Someone's In The Kitchen With Dinah/ THE PARIS SISTERS: Baby Honey Baby/ PATIENCE & PRUDENCE: Tonight You Belong To Me/ THE PETERS SISTERS: Basin Street Blues/ THE PICKENS SISTERS: Many Moons Ago/ THE PONCE SISTERS: Fit As A Fiddle/ THE STAFFORD SISTERS: Cross Patch/ THE TRIX SISTERS: Pickin' Cotton/ THE WILLIAMS SISTERS: He's The Last Word

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fantastic Voyage 104 Britain's First Number Ones ● CD $21.98
3CD, 64 tracks
Since Acrobat has seen fit to compile all of Britain's Number One hits of the 50's (Acrobat 7030), it seems only fitting that someone should compile the British Number Ones of the Big Band era. Well, here is that collection from our old friends at Fantastic Voyage: a three disc tour through the best and the brightest (both Brit and Yank) of Big Band's peak period. Everyone from British icons Gracie Fields and Vera Lynn to American mainstays Bing Crosby and Rudy Vallee get a look in. The great bandleaders-from Glenn Miller to Tommy Dorsey to Les Brown-are represented along with their respective vocalists: Skip Nelson, Frank Sinatra and Doris Day. And it wasn't all swing time in the charts either as appearances by Gene Autry, George Formby and The Ink Spots would attest. All in all, a well done snapshot of what tickled the fancy of our British cousins during World War II.
AMBROSE: Russian Rose/ My Devotion/ I'll Be Seeing You/ ARTHUR ASKEY: It's Spring Again/ GENE AUTRY: Don't Fence Me In/ IVY BENSON VOCAL GEORGINA: If I Had My Way/ ISSY BONN: Just A Little Fond Affection/ LES BROWN - VOCAL DORIS DAY: My Dreams Are Getting Better All The Time/ BILLY COTTON - VOCAL ALAN BREEZE: I've Got Sixpence/ BING CROSBY: Deep In The Heart Of Texas/ Moonlight Becomes You/ Only Forever/ The Anniversary Waltz/ White Christmas/ You Are My Sunshine/ Don't Fence Me In/ TOMMY DORSEY - VOCAL FRANK SINATRA: We Three (My Echo, My Shadow And Me)/ TOMMY DORSEY - VOCAL JACK LEONARD: All The Things You Are/ DEANNA DURBIN: Waltzing In The Clouds/ JIMMY DORSEY - VOCALS BOB EBERLEY & HELEN O’CONNELL: Amapola/ GRACIE FIELDS: I'm Sending A Letter To Santa Claus/ FLANAGAN & ALLEN: Rose O'Day/ There's A Boy Coming Home On Leave/ GEORGE FORMBY: Bless 'Em All/ HELEN FORREST & DICK HAYMES: Together/ GERALDO - VOCAL CYRIL GRANTHAM: I'll Remember/ GERALDO - VOCAL DOROTHY CARLESS: I Can't Love You Any More (Than I Do)/ That Lovely Weekend/ CARROLL GIBBONS - VOCAL EDNA KAY: Darling/ CARROLL GIBBONS - VOCALS ANNE LENNER & ERIC WHIT: Scatterbrain/ DICK HAYMES WITH THE SONG SPINNERS: It Can't Be Wrong/ HUTCH: Jealousy/ JACK HYLTON - VOCAL DOLLY ELSIE: Over The Rainbow/ THE INK SPOTS: We Three (My Echo, My Shadow And Me)/ Whispering Grass/ HAL KEMP: In An Eighteenth Century Drawing Room/ HARRY LEADER - VOCAL ART NOEL: If You Ever Go To Ireland/ SYDNEY LIPTON - VOCAL CELIA LIPTON: You Made Me Care/ GUY LOMBARDO - VOCAL JIMMY BROWN: A Little On The Lonely Side/ JOE LOSS - VOCAL HARRY KAYE: Deep In The Heart Of Texas/ VERA LYNN: How Green Was My Valley/ Over The Hill/ The Happiest New Year Of All/ The White Cliffs Of Dover/ Yours (Quiereme Mucho)/ When Our Dreams Grow Old/ TONY MARTIN: The Last Time I Saw Paris/ THE MERRY MACS: Jingle Jangle Jingle/ Mairzy Doats And Doazy Doats/ GLENN MILLER: Dearly Beloved/ Moonlight Becomes You/ EDMUNDO ROS: Yours (Quiereme Mucho)/ HARRY ROY - VOCALS THE ROYALISTS: The Sailor With The Navy Blue Eyes/ ANNE SHELTON: Lilli Marlene/ Silver Wings In The Moonlight/ Comin' In On A Wing And A Prayer/ VICTOR SILVESTER: Don't Ever Pass Me By/ Waltzing In The Clouds/ DOROTHY SQUIRES: Coming Home/ BILLY THORBURN - VOCAL JULIE DAWN: What More Can I Say/ DICK TODD: The Singing Hills/ TOMMY TRINDER: All Over The Place/ RUDY VALLEE: As Time Goes By/ JACK WHITE - VOCALS TONY MORRIS & NORMA CLARK: Arm In Arm

VARIOUS ARTISTS Fremeaux & Associes 5096 Harmonica Swing ● CD $33.98
2 CDs, 1 hour 54 minutes, highly recommended
Back in stock. If two CDs of harmonica swing instrumentals sounds like one and a half too many, the excellent Fremeaux & Associes collection will quickly disabuse you of that notion. The tracks range from 1929-1952, although about half are from the '40s, with most dates hovering around the war. Happily, the performances, mostly representing the work of small combos, seem to have been chosen because they are prime examples of swing that happen to feature harmonica rather than because the compilers were desperate for anything with jazzy harmonica to fill out their compilation. As a result, perhaps, 30 of the 41 cuts spotlight just four musicians -- Max Geldray, Dany Kane Larry Adler, Borrah Minevitch -- with Dany Kane shouldering 11 cuts himself. And while that could pose its own problems concerning sameness, it doesn't. The music is lively, refreshing, and playful. (Listeners are excused for occasionally imagining cartoon mice inflicting misery on their feline counterparts.) Adler's reading of Lover, Come Back To Me, features the illustrious company of Stephane Grappeli and Django Reinhardt; his take of Cole Porter's Begin The Beguine includes Charlie Shavers (tp), W. "Buster" Bailey (cl), and John Kirby (b), among others. Pleasant surprises include Les 5 de l'Harmonica performing In The Mood, Quintette Dupont-Durand's Nightfall, Hubert Giraud's Dinah, and just about everything by Minevitch. Being a harmonica fan is not required for this set to charm. (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Frog DGF 76 Frog Spawn - The White Hot Batch ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, highly recommended
The latest in Frog's series of "red hot jazz rarities, alternate takes, sleepers & unissued masters" is to white bands featuring 25 tracks recorded between 1924 and 1930. There is a wealth of fine jazz here, by bands whose members and provenance are sometimes shrouded in discographical darkness, or who are well enough known, yet who have produced recordings that have so far managed to elude CD re issues. Among the groups here are The Berlyn Baylor Orchestra, The New Orleans Owls (one of the best known groups here with their extremely rare alternate take of Oh Me! Oh My!), Willard Robison's Deep River Four (the earliest recording here from a 1924 Autograph featuring some great clarinet work - possibly Alcide Nunez), The California Ramblers, Russ Gorman's Virginians (with Red Nichols, Miff Mole, Dick McDonough & Eddie Lang), Bud Ritchie & His Boys (a totally obscure group with two fine tracks including a rendition of Hoagy Carmichael's Rockin' Chair), Bert Lown & His Loungers, Original Memphis Five, Ken Moyers Novelty Trio (featuring Moyers on mellophone - a French horn type instrument, reserphone - an instrument that sounds like a strngled duck and other instruments), Gowans' Rhpasody Makers and others. Superb sound, extensive notes and full discographical info. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Not Now 380 Blue Jazz Guitar ● CD $9.98
2 CDs, 35 tracks, 1 hour 33 min., highly recommended
While many of these tracks could be described as either blue or blues or both, it's tough to put, say, Jimmy Raney's April In Paris in those camps. Charlie Christian's Waiting For Benny seems beyond the titular label too, as do several other performances. What's sure is the high quality of players, including Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell, Mundell Lowe, Django Reinhardt, Herb Ellis, Tal Farlow, Charlie Byrd, among others. The booklet notes (what few there are) make the case that most here were influenced by Charlie Christian, and it's doubtless true, though it's not exactly an illuminating claim. Still, this is an excellent various artists jazz release, even if the guitar isn't always front and center (George Shearing Quintet's Conception, for example, contains a guitar solo, but the vibe and piano solos are longer are more prominent). And then again, so what? Jazz guitar anyone? (JC)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Rhythm & Blues 009 Rumba Jazz - A History Of Latin Jazz & Dance Music ● CD $19.98
2 CDs, 52 tracks, 157 mins, highly recommended
Here's a fantastic collection of Latin Jazz and Dance music from its original heyday of the 1930s-1940s. So you get Jazz cats taking on the Latin influence like: Louis Armstrong The Daughter Of The Planter From Havana and The Peanut Vender, Artie Shaw Jungle Dreams, Duke Ellington Congo Brava, and Porto Rican Chaos, and Fred Waring with (of corse) Brazil. Then you get the leaders of the wave of Latin players like Machito Nague," Alberto Socarres "Masabi," and Augusto Coen "The Music Goes Round and Round. You even get a Dezi Arnez song that isn't Babalou! Sometimes the Latin influence can be a little wince-worthy, but mostly it fired up a lot of great artists to take their music in a different direction. Lots of great tracks by the likes of Cab Calloway, Fletcher Henderson, Art Tatum, Bunk Johnson, etc. (JM)
ANTOBAL'S CUBANS: El Maraquero/ LOUIS ARMSTRONG: The Daughter Of A Planter From Havana/ The Peanut Vendor/ DESI ARNAZ: La Conga En Nueva York/ LOVIE AUSTIN: Charleston, South Carolina/ DON AZPIAZU: El Manisero/ MILDRED BAILEY WITH RED NORVO: The Weekend Of A Private Secretary/ CHARLIE BARNET: Surrealism/ BAUDUC AND HAGGART: Big Noise From Winnetka/ SIDNEY BECHET: Egyptian Fantasy/ CAB CALLOWAY: Chili Con Conga/ MOVITA CASTANEDA: The Carioca/ AUGUSTO COéN: The Music Goes Round And Round/ BING CROSBY: Baia/ BOB CROSBY'S BOB CATS: Yancey Special/ XAVIER CUGAT: Lady In Red/ JOE DANIEL: Cuban Swing/ JOHNNY DODDS: New St Louis Blues/ DUKE ELLINGTON: Conga Brava/ Porto Rican Chaos/ JAMES REESE EUROPE: Memphis Blues/ BENNY GOODMAN ORCHESTRA: Sing, Sing, Sing/ THE HAITIAN ORCHESTRA: Sous Les Palmiers/ EDMOND HALL: Besame Mucho/ ERSKINE HAWKINS: Satan Does The Rhumba/ FLETCHER HENDERSON: Take Me Away From The River/ WOODY HERMAN: Las Chiapanecas/ BUNK JOHNSON: Porto Rico/ THE JUNGLE BAND: Admiration/ JOHN KIRBY: Rhumba In The Dark/ ANDY KIRK: Cuban Boogie Woogie/ CARL KRESS: Danzon/ GENE KRUPA: Perfidia/ CHARLES LAVERE: Ubangi Man/ THE LECUONA CUBAN BOYS: Tabou/ MACHITO: Nague/ GLENN MILLER: The Rhumba Jumps/ CARMEN MIRANDA: South American Way/ JELLY ROLL MORTON: The Crave/ BENNIE MOTEN: Rumba Negro/ HOT LIPS PAGE ORCHESTRA: Harlem Rhumbain' The Blues/ EDMUNDO ROS: Los Hijos De Buda/ ARTIE SHAW: Jungle Dreams/ NOBLE SISSLE: Under The Creole Moon/ ALBERTO SOCARRAS: Masabi/ EDDIE SOUTH: La Rosita/ ART TATUM: Begin The Beguine/ JOE VENUTI: Heat Wave/ FATS WALLER: Mamacita/ FRED WARING: Brazil/ TEDDY WILSON: Blues In C Sharp Minor/ BOB ZURKE’S DELTA RHYTHM: Rhumboogie

VARIOUS ARTISTS Storyville 103 6103 Sounds Of New Orleans, Vol. 3 ● CD $14.98
The third and final volume in this series of New Orleans jazz drawn from the Storyville catalog. Two CDs with 35 tracks recorded between 1952 and 1955, mostly recorded live. There are five tracks from Albert Burbank with Kid Ory & His Creole Jazzband recorded in San Francisco - Ory was a veteran New Orleans musician who had relocated to the West Coast in 1919! Paul Barbarin & His Jazzband (with Percy Humphrey/ tpt, Waldron "Frog" Joseph/ tb and Willie Humphrey/ cl) are featured on 11 tunes. There are two sides from cornetist Johnny Wiggs and his New Orleans Boys with Jack Delaney/ tb and Raymond Burke/ cl - on Tin Roof Blues there is a stirring vocal from guitarist Edmond "Doc" Souchon. Sharkey Bonano & his band (with Jack Delaney/ tb, Bujie Centobie/ cl and Stanley Mendelson/ p) are featured on seven cuts with a fine vocal by LIzzie Miles on I Ain't Gonna Give You None Of My Jelly Roll. The New Orleans Jazz Babies with Alvin Alcorn/ tp, Jack Delaney/ tb and Raymon Burke/ cl are featured on six tracks and the set is rounded out with four sides by The Dixieland All Stars with George Girard/ tp, Santo Pecora/ tb, Raymond Burke/ cl and Lester Bouchon/ ts. Excellent sound and informative notes from Chris Albertson.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Year Zero 007 Watch The Closing Door: A History Of New York's Musical Melting Pot, Vol. 1 ● CD $23.98
2 CDs, 32 tracks, 150 mins, highly recommended Here is the opening salvo in an ambitious plan to thoroughly chronicle New York City's musical history. This CD set comes with a very thick booklet that is part liner notes, but much more the first installment in the written history of New York music according to the Year Zero record label people. So on top of getting two disks packed with all kinds of terrific music, you get some quality reading as well. New York is pretty much as multi-cultural as a city can be and the musical selections here cover a lot of ground. From Jazz, like Duke Ellington's Take The A Train; Rhythm & Blues, like Cozy Cole's Bad; and Doo Wop, with Frankie Lyman & The Teenagers'Why Do Fools Fall In Love -- and that is just in the first three tracks. You will get a wide variety of Jazz alone, with tracks ranging from Charles Mingus' Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, to Raymond Scott's Ripples. From Cab Calloway's uptown jive of Minnie The Moocher to Machito's hot Latin Jazz of Mambo Mucho Mambo. There are Rhythm & Blues giants like Big Joe Turner and Big Maybelle and folk icons like Dave Van Ronk and The Almanac Singers. CD one ends with John Cage's Interminacy Pt. 2, CD two ends with Allen Ginsberg reading, "Howl," New York in a nutshell, diverse, creative, groundbreaking, and all over the place culturally. The only exception I have with this collection, which mind you, I greatly admire, is where is the Moondog track? This is a hell of a compilation and I hope that it is successful enough for the people behind it to fully realize their vision for the series. (JM)
FAYE ADAMS: Shake A Hand/ THE ALMANAC SINGERS: Talking Union/ LOUIS ARMSTRONG: Yellow Dog Blues/ HARRY BELAFONTE: Matilda/ BIG MAYBELLE: One Monkey Don't Stop No Show/ JOHN CAGE: Indeterminacy Pt 2/ CAB CALLOWAY: Minnie The Moocher/ COZY COLE: Bad/ Topsy Pt 2/ MILES DAVIS: Summertime/ THE DRIFTERS: Money Honey/ DUKE ELLINGTON: Take The "A" Train/ THE EMBERS: Paradise Hill/ THE FIVE SATINS: In The Still Of The Nite/ DIZZY GILLESPIE: Manteca/ ALLEN GINSBERG: Howl/ BILLIE HOLIDAY: Autumn In New York/ THE HONEYCONES: Op/ FRANKIE LYMON & THE TEENAGERS: Why Do Fools Fall In Love/ MACHITO: Mucho Mambo/ CHARLES MINGUS: Goodbye Pork Pie Hat/ THELONIOUS MONK: Brilliant Corners/ THE NEW LOST CITY RAMBLERS: How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live/ THE PARAGONS: Twilight/ RAYMOND SCOTT: Ripples/ HORACE SILVER: Senor Blues [Newport Jazz Fest]/ NINA SIMONE: Little Girl Blue/ DANNY TAYLOR: Coffee Daddy Blues/ SONNY TERRY: Custard Pie Blues/ BIG JOE TURNER: Morning Noon And Night/ DAVE VAN RONK: Duncan & Brady/ JOSH WHITE: Southern Exposure

DINAH WASHINGTON Legends 025 100 Hits ● CD $19.98
Another of those low priced 5 CD sets from Legends - this time featuring the sublime vocals of Dinah Washington. Dinah was an incredibly versatile singer who was equally conformable singing blues, R&B, jazz, pop and even country. This set is fairly light on her earlier bluesy sides from the 40s in favor of later recordings from the mid 50s through early 60s and while it has just about all her pop hits it doesn't have as many of her R&B hits. Still there's some great music here if you don't mind an overabundance of string arrangements.
(Remember Me) I'm The One Who Loves You/ A Cottage For Sale/ A Rockin' Good Way/ A Sunday Kind Of Love/ After You've Gone/ Again/ All Of Me/ Baby (You've Got What It Takes)/ Backwater Blues/ Big Deal/ Big Long Slidin' Thing/ Birth Of The Blues/ Black And Blue/ Blue Gardenia/ Blue Skies/ But Not For Me/ Bye Bye Blues/ Caravan/ Careless Love/ Christopher Columbus/ Cold, Cold Heart/ Come On Home/ Come Rain Or Come Shine/ Darn That Dream/ Don't Get Around Much Anymore/ Dream/ Easy Living/ Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye/ Everybody Loves My Baby/ Give Me Back My Tears/ Half As Much/ Honeysuckle Rose/ I Apologize/ I Believe/ I Concentrate On You/ I Cried For You/ I Get A Kick Out Of You/ I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart/ I Remember You/ I Thought About You/ I Wanna Be Loved/ I'm Through With Love/ I've Got A Crush On You/ I've Got A Feeling I'm Falling/ I've Got You Under My Skin/ If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight/ If I Had You/ If I Loved You/ If I Were A Bell/ Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby?/ It Could Happen To You/ It's Magic/ Just One More Chance/ Keepin' Out Of Mischief Now/ Let's Do It/ Long John Blues/ Look To The Rainbow/ Love For Sale/ Love Walked In/ Lover Come Back To Me/ Mad About The Boy/ Makin' Whoopee/ Manhattan/ More Than You Know/ My Devotion/ My Ideal/ My Song/ Nothing In The World/ On The Sunny Side Of The Street/ Our Love Is Here To Stay/ Pennies From Heaven/ Perdido/ Resolution Blues/ Send Me To The Electric Chair/ September In The Rain/ Short John/ Since I Fell For You/ Smoke Gets In Your Eyes/ So In Love/ Soft Wind/ Someone's Rockin' My Dreamboat/ Sometimes I'm Happy/ Squeeze Me/ Stairway To The Stars/ Stardust/ Stormy Weather/ T'ain't Nobody's Biz-ness If I Do/ Teach Me Tonight/ Tell Me Why/ The Age Of Miracles/ There Is No Greater Love/ There'll Be Some Changes Made/ This Bitter Earth/ This Can't Be Love/ Time After Time/ Unforgettable/ What A Diff'rence A Day Makes/ What Is This Thing Called Love?/ Willow Weep For Me/ You're Crying

CLARENCE WILLIAMS Frog 75 Gimme Blues - Washboard Bands, 1926-29 ● CD $18.98
Another superb collection of early jazz from Frog - this one devoted to the washboard bands put together by jazz pianist and entrepreneur Clarence Williams. Various groups are featured with Ed Allen on cornet or trumpet on most tracks. There are three different washboard players and two different clarinetists and the groups include The Dixie Washboard Band, Blue Grass Footwarmers, The Clarence Washboard Four and others. Music is lively and entertaining, sound quality is superb and there are detailed notes and full discographical details.

CLARENCE WILLIAMS Membran 222495 You Rascal You ● CD $10.98
Four CDs, 79 tracks, highly recommended
Another amazingly low priced four CD set from Membran in their "Quadromania" series features 79 tracks featuring pianist/ vocalist and bandleader Clarence Williams and some of the great bands he recorded with between 1929 and 1939 and provides a great introduction to the work of this important musician. It includes recordings with his Jazz Kings, Washboard Band, Orchestra, Novelty Band and more including solo vocal and piano sides and duets with pianist Jimmy Johnson. In addition to Williams there are vocals by Fats Waller, Eva Taylor, Clarence Todd, Chick Bullock and others - most of them blues. Muscians on these sessions include Ed Allen, James P. Johnson, Ikey Robinson, Henry "Red" Allen, Dicky Wells, Louis Jordan, Roy Smeck, Wilbur de Paris, Buster Bailey and other great muscians. Sound quality is excellent and booklet has full discographical deatils but no other information. (FS)


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