Jazz, Dance Bands, Vocalists
Count Basie -> Bob Zurke




COUNT BASIE Neatwork 2058 The Alternative Takes, Vol. 4 : 1941-1945 ● CD $13.98
26 tracks, 76 min, essential. The mighty Basie Orch heard on both sides of the musicians' strike. Though not too many big hits except One O'clock Jump, the musicianship makes anything they do better than most! Along with The All-American Rhythm Section (Basie-Green-Page-Jones) & vocalist Jimmy Rushing, there's such all-stars as Sweets Edison, Buck Clayton, Don Byas, Earl Warren, Dicky Wells, Tab Smith, Lucky Thompson, Buddy Tate, etc. The post-strike sides here (12/44 & 2/45) have a re-vamped rhythm section of Basie (p), Freddie Green (g), Rodney Richardson (b) & Shadow Wilson (d). One of my faves here is Harvard Blues (I can just see Mr. 5x5 singing "I don't keep dogs or women in my room)!, along with For The Good Of The Country/ Platterbrains/ Red Bank Boogie/ Time On My Hands. and others. (GM)

BIX BEIDERBECKE Neatwork 2060 The Alternative Takes, 1924-30 ● CD $13.98
23 tracks, 68 min, essential .Though this starts off with some alts of The Wolverine Orch from '24, a large part of this set finds Bix in the Jean Goldkette Orch '27, recording for Victor in the company of such buddies as Tram (Frankie Trumbauer), Eddie Lang, Joe Venuti, Bill Rank & Danny Polo on such bouncy tunes as Sunny Disposish/ Sunday/ In My Merry Oldsmobile & I'm Looking Over A Four-Leaf Clover. Next is the rare date by The Chicago Loopers, a sextet recorded for Perfect with Tram, Carl Kress, Don Murray, &, on I'm More Than Satisfied, The Deep River Quartet! The set ends with various grouping under the names Bix & His Gang, Irving Mills' Hotsy Totsy Boys, ending with a wonderful Bessie Couldn't Help It by the Hoagy Carmichael Orch with Jack Teagarden, Jimmy Dorsey, Joe Venuti & Gene Krupa! (GM)

BIX BEIDERBECKE Sunbeam BX CD 10-12 Bix Restored, Vol. 4: June 1928 - September 1930 ● CD $45.98
The fourth and final volume devoted to presenting the complete recordings of this great cornetist, including all available alternate takes, newly remastered by John R.T. Davies and Michael Kieffer from the best available 78s. This set of 3 CDS features 64 tracks recorded between June 1928 and September 1930 including 15 tracks by Frank Trumbauer & his Orchestra and 5 by Bix & his Gang, George Gershwin's Concerto in F by Paul Whiteman & his Orchestra, Bix's featured solos on Whiteman's 12" recordings of Gypsy and Sweet Sue, and Bix's last recordings with Hoagy Carmichael's Orchestra. The booklet includes an essay by Randy Skretvedt and complete discographical details.

HOAGY CARMICHAEL & FRIENDS RCA Bluebird 63909 Stardust Melody ● CD $16.98
21 tracks, 67 min, essential The good thing about when a biography comes out, the artists' material get reissued & re-evaluated. With Stardust Melody: The Life & Times Of Hoagy Carmichael now out, the newly revived Bluebird label gave its author, Richard Sudhalter, the go-ahead to do a CD. He selected the tunes & wrote the liner notes, which gives it the mark of a well-done CD, not something a studio hack slapped together. The tunes here mainly feature the composer playing the earliest versions of his greatest work, starting out with a gorgeous solo piano version of Stardust from '33, then going into 2 never-before heard Hoagy Carmichael Orch sides from '29, doing Rockin' Chair, with Hoagland on vocals, & March Of The Hoodlums. Rockin' Chair is also heard on 2 other recordings, one by Mildred Bailey from '32 that was such a big hit that she became known as The Rockin' Chair Lady, & again by the duo who are probably best known for it, Louis Armstrong & Jack Teagarden, heard here from a '47 All-Stars session. Bailey is also heard on a '31 version of Georgia On My Mind - in fact there are a few tunes here not to feature Hoagy, most notably Earl Hines' '42 version of Skylark, Hot Lips Page doing Small Fry from '38, & 2 '39 recordings by Ethel Waters - Old Man Harlem & Bread And Gravy. (GM)

JUNE CHRISTY Proper Pairs 112 Cool Christy ● CD $12.98
Two CD set with 49 tracks recorded between 1944 and 1950 by this fine jazz vocalist including recordings from her first stint as vocalist with the Stan Kenton Orchestra as well as solo sessions under her own name.

EDDIE CONDON Neatwork 2059 The Alternative Takes, Vol. 3 : 1940-1944 ● CD $13.98
24 tracks, 76 min, recommended. The 1st 22 tracks are by Condon & His Band done for Commodore, a loose aggregation featuring such vets as Pee Wee Russell, Max Kaminsky, Joe Bushkin, Benny Morton, Big Sid Catlett, Lou McGarrity, & on the 1st session "Maurice" on piano, a pseudonym for Fats Waller! The final 2 sides are done for the major label Decca as Eddie Condon Orch, a 10 piece band with Bobby Hackett, Billy Butterfield, Jack Teagarden, Bob Haggart, Russell, Kaminsky &, on Someone To Watch Over Me, the great Lee Wiley on vocals; you can really tell the difference in recording quality going from the indie Commodore to the major Decca! Plenty of trad faves including Wait For the Lights To Go Out/ Nobody Knows You When You're Down & Out/ Basin Street Blues/ Fidgety Feet/ Rose Room., etc. (GM)

THE GEORGIANS Retrieval 79036 1923-1924 ● CD $14.98
Second volume features 22 sides recorded in 1923 and '24 by this fine early white jazz band, led by The King Oliver influenced trumpeter Frank Guarente,

STAN GETZ Proper BOX 52 The Sound ● CD $25.98
Another classy four CD box set from Proper - this time devoted to acclaimed saxophonist whose technique earned him the nickname "The Sound". 88 tracks recorded between 1946 and 1952 with musicians like Max Roach, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, Horace Silver and others as well as top Scandinavian musicians as Getz was very popular in Sweden. Includes 44 page booklet with biography, sessionography and rare photos.

DIZZY GILLESPIE RCA Bluebird 63925 Bebop Professor ● CD $11.98
13 tracks, 40 min, excellent. Diz recorded 40 tracks for RCA Bluebird '46-49, with some of the best bebop recordings ever. This is an entry into the newly revived (again!) Bluebird label - a mid-priced & remastered disc. The reason I can't give an essential for this is its brevity! If you want to dip your foot into Diz's recording, this isn't a bad place to start, with small bands & his large Orch on such classics as 52nd St. Theme, Anthropology, Two Bass Hit, Jumpin' With Symphony Sid, & those landmarks of Afro-Cuban jazz Manteca & the 2-sided Cubana Be/Cubana Bop. There's a ringer here - Diz as a sideman in the '39 Lionel Hampton Orch, on Hot Mallets with Benny Carter & Chu Berry. Other musicians include Milt Jackson, John Lewis (the rhythm section of Diz's orch became the basis for The Modern Jazz Quartet), JJ Johnson, Don Byas, Bill DeArango, Chano Pozo. (GM)

BENNY GOODMAN Neatwork 2057 The Alternative Takes, Vol. 3 : 1938-1939 ● CD $13.98
25 tracks, 73 min, highly recommended. This set finds the band recording for Victor 5/38-4/49, with tracks not on Classics Chronological series (they note that they will NOT be doing the Columbia alternates as they are already out on Phontastic). Most of these were not initially released by Victor, though the alt for Know did make it onto an original 78 & the alt of A Home In The Clouds was released in UK on HMV. The 1st few tracks have the last of the mighty version of the band with Harry James, though Gene Krupa is gone & Davy Tough is soon to go - Lionel Hampton even sits in on drums with the full Orch on Smoke House Blues. There's a final Quartet side with Tough on drums, to be replaced in the small bands as well as the Orch by Buddy Schultz. There's a rare "Trio" date with BG, Teddy Wilson (p) & Hamp on drums with the great John Kirby on bass, for the classic Pick-A-Rib Pts 1 & 2. By the end, Jess Stacy replaces Wilson in the small groups & the full orch does such classics as Blue Lou/ It Had To Be You, & The Kingdom Of Swing. (GM)

WARDELL GRAY Proper BOX 55 The Wardell Gray Story ● CD $25.98
Four CDs with 77 tracks by this great bebop tenor saxophonist. Recorded between 1946 and 1952 it finds him in the company of musicians like Dodo Marmarosa, Barney Kessell, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Criss, Benny Goodman, Mary Lou Williams, Fats Navarro, Al Haig and many others. Includes 40 page booklet with extensive notes, discography and rare photos.

TED HEATH & HIS MUSIC Proper Pairs 116 Big Ben Bounce ● CD $12.98
Two CD set with 51 tracks recorded between 1944 and 1950 by Britain's leading big band.

ILLINOIS JACQUET Proper BOX 49 The Illinois Jacquet Story ● CD $25.98
4 discs, 79 tracks, 252 min, essential. One of the first as well as one of the last of the great honking tenor players, the Cajun Jacquet got his fame in the Lionel Hampton Orch in '41-42, especially with the groundbreaking Flying Home. Moving to L.A., this set begins with 4 tracks from the 1st "Jazz At The Philharmonic" concert in '44, each one clocking in at around 10 min. & featuring an all-star aggregation including Jack McVea, Nat King Cole, JJ Johnson & Les Paul. Most of the rest of the recordings are great small group recordings for Philo/Aladdin & Apollo. However, in the mid-40s Jacquet became a star of the Count Basie Orch & while in NY did some small group stuff with Basie-ites for Savoy. Plenty of fine small-group jazz, R&B & ballads with such stalwarts as (in L.A.) Johnny Otis, Charlie Mingus, Sir Charles Thompson, Henry Coker, Bill Doggett, & his brother Russell Jacquet, &, while with Basie, such Basie-ites as Freddy Green, Joe Newman & Shadow Wilson. A notable exception is a Jacquet Orch date for Aladdin with a 17-piece orch including Miles Davis, Fats Navarro (as "Slim Romero"!) Dicky Wells, Big Nick Nicholas, even Leonard Feather! By '47 Jacquet made the majors, with a series of dates for Victor from '48-51. Ends with the beginning of his long association with Mercury/Clef (later part of Verve). This set comes with slipcase & full 40-page booklet that gives a history & song-by-song/ solo-by-solo coverage. (GM)

THE NEW ORLEANS JAZZ BAND Jazz Oracle 8033 Recorded In New Yor, 1924-25 ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, 77 min, recommended. Some wonderful mid-20 small-group jazz. Unlike a lot of the place-named bands of the time (Original Indiana Five, California Ramblers) which were made up of studio musicians, this was an actual band of musicians from New Orleans, though they had to make it to NY to record. After a one-off with Regal, their next were on Domino, then back to Regal/Oriole. The band is best known as the 1st recorded band with the great clarinetist Sidney Ardoin, who later wrote (Up The)Lazy River, & later, the 1st recordings by his replacement, another great clarinetist, Brad McGowan. Interestingly, many alternate takes were issued in Canada on Apex, which are included here. Includes their versions of such classics as Tin Roof Blues, Limehouse Blues, Copenhagen, Some Of These Days. The usual wonderful Jazz Oracle packaging with complete liner notes, rare pics including label pics, & full discographical info. (GM)

THE ORIGINAL INDIANA FIVE Jazz Oracle 8031 Vol. 3 : Recorded In New York, 1925 ● CD $14.98
24 tracks,68 min, highly recommended. Another volume of hot jazz from this seminal band. The personnel remains stable here, with leader Tom Morton on drums + Pete Pellizi(tb), Nick Vitalo (cl,as), Harry Ford (p), & Tony Colucci(b), with trumpeter James Christie replaced by Tony Tortomas by the last sessions. The OI5 (who were from NYC) are heard in sessions from Perfect, Cameo, OKeh & the Emerson labels (Clover, Grey Gull & Dandy) from Jan-Apr /26. With Tortomas now on board, the next session, for Pathe, was released as by The Black Diamond Serenaders, then back to OI5 for Bell in Oct. The final session, done for Pathe in Oct., finds the OI5 doubled, including a violinist, along with Johnny Ryan on vocals, put out as by Tommy Morton's Grangers. Most of the tunes are hot novelty jazz tunes with titles like How Could Red Riding Hood/ Hard To Get Gertie (which the band would record multiple times), Sally's Not The Same Old Sally, even a version of Heebie Jeebies. Wonderful liner notes with brand new research as well as photos & discography. (GM)

OSCAR PETERSON Proper Pairs 113 Genesis ● CD $12.98
Two CD set with 51 tracks devoted to the formative years of this great jazz pianist (1945-1950)

BEN POLLACK Jazz Oracle 8032 Volume 5 - Recorded In New York, 1931 ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, 72 min, recommended. The 5th volume of Pollack's recordings find Benny Goodman out of the band, here only as a session man, but the band still includes Jack Teagarden, Sterling Bose, Gil Rodin, Charlie Spivak, Eddie Miller, Ray Baduc, Nappy Lamare, & Jimmy Dorsey. The sides here were done mostly for the ARC labels (Banner, Perfect, Crown from Canada, etc.). In fact, some of the great sidemen's names were as leader for Crown, so there are sides here by the "Orchs" of Teagarden & Rodin, though the same musicians. Interestingly, there are versions of some tunes both with & without Goodman, & the liner notes point out that different arrangements were actually used, with BG given hotter charts! There's also the very rare sides done for Melotone as The New Orleans Ramblers from '31, including a VERY rare Decca test pressing of I'm One Of God's Children (Who Hasn't Got Wings). Also includes the very rare alternate takes that were issued in Canada on Crown. The usual meticulous Jazz Oracle packaging, though the liner notes can be a little confusing. The (so far) 5 vol series has a continuing detailed bio of the band, & though the music here is from Jan & Feb '31, the bio of the band covers from 11/31 to 7/33! (GM)

DJANGO REINHARDT Proper BOX 53 Swing De Paris ● CD $25.98
Four CDs with 103 tracks featuring one of the greatest and most influential of jazz guitarists of all time. There are many Django reissues out there but this should prove to be a perfect introduction covering recordings from throughout his career including sides with the Quintette du Hot Club De France along with sessions with Coleman Hawkins' All Star Jam Band, Bill Coleman and his orch., Rex Stewart & His Feetwarmers, the Glenn Miller All Stars, duets with Stephane Grappelli and exquisite solo performances.

JIMMY RUSHING Collectables 7496 Cat Meets Chick /The Jazz Odyssey Of Jimmy Rushing ● CD $13.98
Reissue of two Columbia albums from 1956 and '57. The first albums is love songs with and includes vocals by Ada Moore - the second is a set of blues standards with Buck Clayton & His Orch. Includes Anyplace I Hang My Hat Is Home/ I've Got A Feeling I'm Falling/ Ain't She Sweet/ You're My Thrill/ Gee Baby. Ain't I Good To You/ I Can't Give You Anything But Love/ TRicks Ain't Walkin' No More/ Piney Brown Blues/ I'm Going To Move To The Outskirts Of Town, etc

VARIOUS ARTISTS Archeophone 9007 The Phonographic Yearbook - 1922 ● CD $14.98
The latest in this fine series features 24 tracks that would be in the charts if there had been charts in 1922. Includes Paul Whiteman & His Orch., Al Jolson (including his classic AprilShowers), The Isham Jones Orch., The Club Royal Orch., Marion Harris, Lucy Isabell Marsh & Royal Dadmun, The Peerless Quartet, Miss Patricola with The Virginians, Ernest Hare & Bill Jones, Ed Gallagher & Al Shean, Vaughn De Leath, The American Quartet and oters. Fine sound and 24 page booklet has extensive notes, photos and other memorabilia.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Blue Note (UK) 94030 Blue 45s - The Ultimate Jukebox ● CD $11.98
21 tracks, highly recommended. From the 50s on modern jazz has been mostly associated with the LP and later the CD format. But over the years many jazz singles were released in an attempt to draw in a larger market. Blue Note records issued over 500 singles in the 60s and this collection features 21 of them. In order to fit on a single the tunes were either fairly short or split as two siders and tended to often feature some slightly more commercial sounding titles with an R&B, soul or funk flavore. Among the great artists featured heer are Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Lou Donaldson, Herbie Hancock, Freddie Roach, "Big" John Paton, Horace Silver, Jimmy Smith, Bobbi Humphrey, Lee Morgan, Joe Henderson and others. Informative notes by Roy Carr and full discographical info. (FS)

BERT WILLIAMS Archeophone 5003 The Middle Years, 1910-1918 ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, 77 min, essential This set precedes the first released volume, ("His Final Recordings 1919-1922" on Archeophone 5002, the new label that specializes in making wonderfully sounding copies of acoustic recordings.) One of the first & most important Black performers, Williams was a vaudevillian who performed wry stories in blackface. This set has 22 Columbia recordings & features a remake of his most well-known performance, Nobody ("Who soothes my thumpin' thumpin' brain? Nobody") along with such greats as You Can't Get Away From It/ Oh Death, Where Is Thy Sting?/ Darktown Poker Club/ You Can't Do Nothing Till Martin Gets Here and much more. The 24 page illustrated booklet includes detailed liner notes, lots of rare pictures and a reprint of Bert's 1918 essay "The Comic Side Of Trouble" originally published in The American Magazine. (GM)


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