NEWSLETTER #130
Jazz, Dance Bands, Vocalists
Fred Astaire -> Teddy Wilson

FRED ASTAIRE
MILDRED BAILEY
CHRIS BARBER
COUNT BASIE
DAVE BRUBECK
CAB CALLOWAY
THE CATS & THE FIDDLE
PAUL DESMOND
SLIM GAILLARD
LIONEL HAMPTON
LENA HORNE
CLIFF JACKSON
FRANKIE LAINE
KID ORY
CHARLIE PARKER
ART PEPPER
ART TATUM
VARIOUS ARTISTS
TEDDY WILSON
 

FRED ASTAIRE Proper Pairs 124 Jazz Time ● CD $12.98
2 discs, 39 tracks, essential. In Dec '52 Fred Astaire, no slouch as a singer as well as a dancer, went into the studio with 6 veterans from the Jazz At The Philharmonic. This allstar group had Charlie Shavers (t), Flip Phillips (ts) Oscar Peterson (p), Barney Kessel (g), Ray Brown (b) & Alvin Stoller (d) to record versions of songs that he made famous, or in some instances, wrote. These were released as 4 LPs in '53 on Clef as "The Fred Astaire Story", with some reissues on Verve. Verve/Polygram put the collection out a few years back, but not only does this have the original material, including 35 songs, 2 dance numbers & a Fred-less jam session, many of which are narrated by Fred, there's also 2 takes of The Astaire Blues, done under Peterson's name as a hornless quartet, which is one (or 2!) takes of some of Oscar's finest! (GM)

 
MILDRED BAILEY Proper BOX 57 Mrs. Swing ● CD $25.98
Mildred Bailey was the number one white singer of the Swing Era. She had a pleasing voice with a light clear tone and a swinging sense of both rhythm and phrasing which allowed her to take on a great emotional range of songs. She could sound sexy, contrite or virtuous and could certainly sing the blues. This four CD set features 100 tracks recorded between 1929 and 1942 featuring her with The Eddie Lang Orchestra, Dorsey Brothers Orch., Benny Goodman & His Orch., Red Norvo & His Orch. and others. Includes 52 page booklet with notes, photos and discography.

 
CHRIS BARBER Upbeat Jazz URCD 177 Chris Barber At The BBC, Vol. 2 - More Wireless Days ● CD $13.98
19 tracks, 59 min, recommended. One of Britain's best known trad bands on the wireless - radio shots mostly from the "Trad Tavern" radio show. This sextet had a front line of Barber-tb, Phil Halcox-t & Ian Wheeler- as/cl. Often joined by bluesy vocalist Ottilie Patterson on such tunes as Blueberry Hill/ Weeping Willow Blues & Trixie Blues. (GM)

 
COUNT BASIE RCA Bluebird 63903 Kansas City Powerhouse ● CD $11.98
16 tracks, 48 mins, good. A primer type CD compiled and annotated by Chris Sheridan, with recordings culled from RCA vaults. The songs are arranged chronologically; the first five tracks are of Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra, from 1929 through 1932, including a number of the personnel that would go on to form Basie's band. The rest of the tracks are Count Basie and his Orchestra recorded between 1947 and 1949. This is a good introduction to a range of Basie's work, with recordings well chosen to illustrate the development of both his piano technique (from the frantic stride to the more sparing syncopation for which he is known) and his composing and arranging (clear here is the development of the main innovation that he and others introduced - swing). Unfortunately there is a fifteen-year gap from 1932 to 1947, years when the Orchestra was at the peak of its popularity. Features Harry "Sweets" Edison, Ben Webster, Hot Lips Page, Paul Gonsalves, Freddie Green, Jo Jones, Jimmy Rushing and others. (BW)

 
DAVE BRUBECK Proper Pairs 132 Early Concepts ● CD $12.98
Two CD set featuring 52 tracks from the early years of this popular jazz artist whose group was one of the few jazz groups to have a million selling hit with the 1960 smash Take Five. The recordings here from 1946 to 1952 trace Brubecj developing his polyrhythmic and polytonal style with complex time signatures. He started with an octet, downsized to a trio which was finally expanded to the quartet which would lead him to internationla recognition.

 
CAB CALLOWAY JSP JSPCD 914 Vol. 2: 1935-1940 ● CD $28.98
The second volume devoted to this important artist features four CDs with 107 tracks recorded between 1935 and 1940, newly remastered by Ted Kendall. Sidemen include Chu Berry, Ben Webster, Dizzy Gillespie, Doc Cheatham, Milt Hinton, Cozy Cole and others

 
THE CATS & THE FIDDLE Fabulous 191 We Cats Will Swing For You, Vol. 1 : 1939-1940 ● CD $7.98
16 tracks, 45 mins, highly recommended First of two budget priced volumes presenting an introduction to the recordings of this fine and important group who specialized in the jive vocal style with the occasional close harmony ballad and featured the distinctive instrumental sound of tenor guitar, two tipples and string bass. This volume, covering 1939 and '40 has 16 songs and includes their most famous one I Miss You So which has been covered by dozens of groups and solo vocalists as well as Nuts To You/ Gang Busters/ We Cats Will Swing For You/ Chant Of the Rain/ Public Jitterbug No 1/ Left With The Thought Of You, etc. Sound is excellent and there are brief notes. Once you become converted you might want to check out the three volumes on Dee Jay Jamboree (55101, 55102 & 55105 - $18.98 each) which features all thri studio recordings plus radio transcriptions. (FS)

 
THE CATS & THE FIDDLE Fabulous 196 We Cats Will Swing For You, Vol. 2 : 1941-1942 ● CD $7.98
16 tracks, highly recommended Another 16 fine examples of jiving harmonies and blues ballads - includes one session with Tiny Grimes on guitar or piano. Includes Hep Cats Holiday/ You're So Fine/ Swing The Scales/ One Is Nevr Too Old To Swing/ I'm Gonna Pull My Hair (let My Wig Come Down)/ Until I Met You/ Blue Skies/ Another Day, etc. (FS)

 
PAUL DESMOND RCA Bluebird 63898 Desmond Blue ● CD $11.98
16 Tracks, 66 mins, very good. This album, recorded in 1961, is his fourth as a leader and the first of five albums Desmond did with George Avakian for RCA Victor. It is his only album with an orchestral backing, a setting that seems natural for his classically influenced alto style. Bob Prince, the arranger and conductor for the sessions, makes good use of this element of Desmond's playing, with many string passages having as much to do with symphonic textures as they do with the jazz milieu. A great treat is the interaction between Desmond and guitarist Jim Hall, a collaboration that would become integral to Desmond's subsequent RCA Victor output. The ways that their styles complement each other are evident; both have a great sense of restraint and a tendency towards understatement, both swing freely and effortlessly. The three bonus tracks and four alternative takes added for this release give listeners a good feeling for Desmond's improvisational inventiveness, with his approach on multiple takes of the same tune being quite varied. Songs include standards like My Funny Valentine/ Like Someone in Love/ Autumn Leaves as well as several Desmond originals. Others on the session include Gene Cherico, Milt Hinton, George Duvivier and Connie Kay. (BW)

 
SLIM GAILLARD Proper BOX 62 Laughing In Rhythm ● CD $25.98
4 discs, 103 tracks, essential. ALL your vout needs in one box, loaded with tracks by Slim & Slam, Slim & Bam, Slim & His Flat Foot Floogie Boys & various trios, quartets & of course, his Shintoists! Starting with his rare coupling as singer for Frankie Newton & His Uptown Serenaders, with such greats as Edmund Hall, Cozy Cole & Russell Procope, it's on to the classics - Flat Foot Floogie/ Cement Mixer (Putti Putti)/ Tutti Frutti/ Vol Vist Du Gaily Star/ Chicken Rhythm/ Yip Roc Heresy, & the legendary Opera In Vout! Complete with booklet filled with pics & facts! (GM)

 
LIONEL HAMPTON ASV ASL 268 Flyin' Home ● CD $23.98

 
LENA HORNE Fabulous FABCD 125 The Irrepressible Lena Horne ● CD $7.98
18 tracks, 53 min, excellent. Budget import with tunes from throughout Lena's career. The music's great, however not an iota of discographical info -some tunes with sparse backing, some with full orchestras & strings, some live recordings, & most of these tunes she recorded multiple times throughout her career. But the tunes are stunning - Can't Help Loving That Man/ From This Moment On/ Lover Man/ Old Devil Moon. (GM)

 
CLIFF JACKSON Jazz Oracle 8037 1926-1934 ● CD $15.98
27 tracks, 74 min, highly recommended. Stride great Jackson was active up through the 60s, backing his wife Maxine Sullivan. This set concentrates on his earliest recordings, starting with a QRS piano roll from 1926. Then we get to the meat of this set - the near-complete recordings of the legendary Cliff Jackson & His Crazy Cats, exuberant 1930 recordings done for Grey Gull/Van Dyke & includes most alternate takes & test pressings with a 10-piece band that included Ellingtonian Rudy Powell. Then after some recordings as the sole accompanist to Mattie Hite, Lana Wilson & Carrie Edwards, itís back to some more band sides, this time The Sepia Serenaders, a trio with original Ellington banjoist Elmer Snowdon & Clarence Grimes on piano, with vocals by George Gray. Done for Bluebird in 1934 includes versions of Spencer Williams' Nameless Blues & Fats Wallers' Alligator Crawl. With mastering by John RT Davies & 20-page booklet that even has a color pic of Jackson! (FS)

 
FRANKIE LAINE Proper Pairs 128 High Noon ● CD $12.98
2 disc, 50 tracks, highly recommended. This is what fans of Laine & 50s pop have been waiting for. Frankie recorded for & had hits for 2 major labels in the 50s, on Mercury from '45-51 & Columbia 51-64.You always had to settle for a set from one label or the other, but now at a fraction of the cost you get all the hits from Mercury - That's My Desire/ Shine/ That Lucky Old Sun/ Mule Train/ The Cry Of The Wild Goose, as well as for Columbia - Jezebel/ High Noon & a slew of cowboy songs done with Mitch Miller. Plus liner notes, photos & complete discographical info! (GM)

 
KID ORY Upbeat Jazz URCD 187 Portrait Of The Greatest Slideman Ever ● CD $13.98
28 tracks, 69 min, recommended. If not for the dodgy sound quality, it would be essential. The whole of Kid's career is here in 3 parts. First off is his rare Ory's Creole Trombone 78 from 1921 with Mutt Carey on trumpet. Next up is Kid & Mutt in an all-star vehicle put together for jazz-fan Orson Welles's '44 radio series. Between March & July of that year, the boy-wonder would have "the last real jazz band" do a tune or two on his broadcast, with a septet with Kid, Carey, Zutty Singleton &, in his final performances, the great clarinetist Jimmy Noone, who died in the midst of this series in 4/44. His replacements were up to par including Barney Bigard & Wade Whaley. Finally there's a set from the 1971 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest, which included Don Ewell on piano & NO legend Danny Barker on guitar & banjo. (GM)

 
CHARLIE PARKER JSP JSPCD 915 A Studio Chronicle, 1940-1948 ● CD $28.98
Competing with the recent Proper box, JSP enters the fray of Charlie Parker reissues with this five CD set with 125 tracks recorded between 1940 and 1948. It includes at least one take of almost every studio recording newly remastered by Ted Kendall, a protégé of John R.T. Davies.

 
ART PEPPER Proper Pairs 130 Young Art ● CD $12.98
Two CD set of 40 early tracks by great alto sax player. Includes his emergence and development playing with Stan Kenton & His Orchestra (between 1943 and 1951), accompanying scat vocalist Babs Gonzales (1949), with Shorty Rogers & His Giants (1951) and leading his own quartet (1952). The 16 page booklet with biography and discography.

 
ART TATUM Proper BOX 60 Piano Grand Master ● CD $25.98
4 discs, 99 tracks, essential This may be all the Tatum you need! Starting from his legendary 1st recording of Tiger Rag from '32, this finds the master in a number of settings. Of course there's his incredible mind-swirling solo work done in the studio for Brunswick, Decca & Capitol, plus live at The Crescendo Club. Then there's the equally legendary trio sides done for Comet in '44 with Tiny Grimes & Slam Stewart. There's his larger band sides for Decca with Joe Turner on vocals, & the all-star Esquire Metropolitan Opera House jams that were put out on rare V-discs & include Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge & Jack Teagarden! Also includes 44-page booklet with all you need to know! (GM)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Archeophone 9008 The Phonographic Yearbook - 1907 ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 67 mins, highly recommended .Another of those delightful collections from Archeophone featuring the most popular songs from the early years of the century. This one is devoted to the year 1907 and includes recordings by Byron Harlan (with the biggest selling song of the year School Days), Billy Murray, U.S. Marine Band (an early Brass Band recording of Maple Leaf Rag), Enrico Caruso (his most popular recording Vesti La Giubba), Harry Lauder, Bob Roberts, The Columbia Quartette, Frank C. Stanley (Auld Lang Syne) and others. Usual quality production with excellent sound and 24 page illustrated booklet with extensive notes, artist photos, sheet music and other memorabilia. (FS)
ENRICO CARUSO: Pagliacci (vesti La Giubba)/ ARTHUR COLLINS: If I'm Going To Die I'm Going To Have Some Fun/ COLLINS AND HARLAN: Bake Dat Chicken Pie/ Camp Meeting Time/ COLUMBIA QUARTETTE: Honey Boy/ BYRON G. HARLAN: My Gal Sal/ Nobody‘s Little Girl/ School Days (when We Were A Couple Of Kids)/ MAY IRWIN: The Bully/ ADA JONES: I Just Can't Make My Eyes Behave/ My Irish Rosie/ Let's Take An Old-fashioned Walk/ HARRY LAUDER: I Love A Lassie/ BILLY MURRAY: Because I'm Married Now/ Harrigan/ San Antonio/ PEERLESS TRIO: Three Rubes Seeing New York/ BOB ROBERTS: No Wedding Bells For Me/ FRANK C. STANLEY: Auld Lang Syne/ Red Wing (an Indian Fable)/ ELISE STEVENSON & HARRY MACDONOUGH: Because You‘re You/ HELEN TRIX: The Bird On Nellie‘s Hat/ U.S. MARINE BAND: Maple Leaf Rag/ VICTOR DANCE ORCHESTRA: Merry Widow Waltz/ BERT WILLIAMS: He's A Cousin Of Mine

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Delmark DX 909 For Jumpers Only! ● CD $7.98
12 tracks,33 min, recommended Another budget priced 50th anniversary issue from Delmark, this time featuring the jumpers & shouters, especially those honking saxes including Illinois Jacquet - Bottom's Up, Willis "Gator Tail" Jackson - On My Own, Paul Bascomb - Pink Cadillac & Arnett Cobb - Top Flight, along with the title raver on a band led by Ellington trumpeter Cat Anderson. (GM)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Delmark DX 910 Bop Lives! ● CD $7.98
8 tracks,32 min, recommended In honor of their 50th anniversary, Delmark is putting out a series of low-price samplers showcasing their entire line. For example, this Bop set includes classic 40s recordings such as the Coleman Hawkins (w/Dizzy Gillespie) '44 recording Woody'n You, which is considered the 1st be-bop recording, & Charlie Parker is heard the following year in a rare sideman appearance with pianist Sir Charles Thompson on Street Beat. However, also included is a fine all-star All The Gin Is Gone ('59) by Jimmy Forrest that also includes Harold Mabern, Grant Green, Gene Ramey & Elvin Jones! The set (& Mabern!) is heard into the 90s, with Cecil Payne's Cuba from '93! (GM)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Jasmine JASBOX 8-4 Lotta Sax Appeal - A Saxophone Retrospective ● CD $28.98
A four CD box set with 74 tracing the history of the saxophone in jazz from 1920 to 1950. Among the 60 saxophonists featured are Adrian Rollini, Bud Freeman, Lester Young, Johnny Hodges, Chu Berry, Al Sears, Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Paul Quinichette, Charlie Parker, Wardell Gray, Sonny Stitt, Sonny Rollins, Lee Konitz, Al Cohn, Art Pepper and many more.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Jazz Oracle 8038 Grey Gull Rarities ● CD $15.98
27 tracks,76 min, recommended. Wonderful survey of the rare Grey Gull & associated labels - Van Dyke, Madison, Radiex, Goodson et al. Most of the tunes were done by a hot house band with trumpeter Mike Mosiello & reed player (as, cl) Andy Sannella, along with some of the regular studio musicians like Tommy Dorsey, Carl Kress & Charlie Butterfield. Interestingly enough, the same song was sometimes put out as different titles by different bands on different labels - the house band's recording of Sometimes It's You was put out as by The Southern Rhythm Masters on Van Dyke - an alternate take was put out as Emilia by the same band, but another versions was My First Choice Sweetheart by Jack Martin und sein Orchester on Phonycord! There's also a few ringers - the Nashville Jazzers is a quintet featuring the cornetist Thomas Morris, & The Memphis Jazzers legendary In Harlem's Alley was originally thought to be King Oliver, but now just probably an unknown black group with Porter Grainger on piano. Another black group was called The Levee Syncopators on Radiex & The New Orleans Pepsters on Van Dyke. There's also a Sam Lanin group here as The High Hat Revellers & a later (1930) version of The California Ramblers is here as The White Star Syncopators. With as good quality as will ever come out of these discs courtesy of John RT Davies & 20 page fact-filled booklet that also takes a closer look at The Memphis Jazzers recordings. (GM)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Jazz Oracle 8039 Paramount Hot Dance Obscurities, Volume 1 ● CD $15.98
26 rare sides from 1927 and '28 recorded by the New York Recording Laboratories for issue on its Broadway and Paramount labels. Includes sides by Bill Haid's Cubs and related bands such as the Midnight Serenaders and The Black Pirates. Includes 24 page booklet with notes by Paramount researcher Alex van der Tuuk and 1920s jazz expert Joel O'Sickey.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Retrieval 79038 Americans In Britain ● CD $14.98
23 track collection featuring some of the American bands who travelled to Britain and recorded there in the 1920 including The Carolina Club Orchestra, Original Capitol Orchestra, the Southern Rag-A-Jazz Band, The Boston Orchestra and others.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Saga Jazz 66479 Jazz A La Gitane - Bands Of Gypsies ● CD $13.98
24 tracks, 65 mins., recommended. One might expect a Gypsy jazz collection spanning 1937-1949 to lean heavily on Django. But while there are 4 rare Django tracks here, we also get 3 by the great Gus Viseur and the rest from rarely-heard (and surprisingly swinging) bands from France, Holland, Norway, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and the U.S. Guitar fans might pick this up just for the fine work on a number of tracks by the wholly underappreciated Ferret brothers: Rene, Jean, Etienne, and Pierre, who could each give Django a run for his money. And it's not all guitar (or accordion). Check out Andalousie, with Albert Ferreri doing a fair Coleman Hawkins imitation on tenor sax. (DC)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Saga Jazz 66485 Now They Call It SWing! No. 1 Chart Hits Only ● CD $13.98
A collection of 24 swing tracks from the late 30s and early 40s that all reached #1 in the hit parade - includes all your faves like A-Tisket A Tasket (Ella Fitzgerald), In The Mood (Glenn Miller), Marie (Tommy Dorsey Orch.), And The Angels Sing (Benny Goodman), I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart (Duke Ellington), Frenesi (Artie Shaw) and lots more.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Saga Jazz 66542 Tap Dancing ● CD $13.98
24 track compilation featuring some of the great tap dancers of the 30s and 40s. Although it's not quite the same without the visuals the performances are a lot of fun featuring Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, The NIcholas Brothers, The Four Step Brothers, John W. Bubbles, Slum Gaillard, Eleanor Powell, Fred AStaire and others. A number of tracks are drawn from film soundtrack or Vitaphone transcritpions.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Upbeat Jazz URCD 118 Best Of British Jazz From The BBc Jazz Club ● CD $13.98
20 tracks, 65 min, excellent 3 bands are heard here from this long-running live BBC radio show. This starts with great trumpeter Ken Colyer, one of the fathers of both British trad jazz & Skiffle! His Jazzmen, heard here from a '53/'54 broadcast includes such future all-stars as Lonnie Donegan, Chris Barber & Monty Sunshine! Next up is another ex-Colyer sideman, "Mr" Acker Bilk with His Paramount Jazz Band, from 4/60, just when he as starting to go it alone in the UK. Finally another Colyer alumnus, Bob Wallis with his Storyville Jazz Men is heard from 1/62. Only trad here - in Brit jazz great Humphrey Lyttelton's liner note reminiscences, the producer Mark White stated "There will be no Modernists on Jazz Club Ö There will be no bebop & no progressive jazz." (GM)

 
TEDDY WILSON ASV CDAJA 5450 The Noble Art Of Teddy Wilson ● CD $11.98

 

Back To New Release Index