NEWSLETTER #128
Jazz, Dance Bands, Vocalists
Louis Armstrong -> Various Artists

CHRIS BARBER
THE GEORGIA WASHBOARD STOMPERS
STAN GETZ
WARDELL GRAY
TED HEATH & HIS MUSIC
ISHAM JONES
THELONIOUS MONK
THE ORIGINAL INDIANA FIVE
BUD POWELL
 
JACK PURVIS
DJANGO REINHARDT
THE SCAMPS
THE SUNSHINE BOYS
KID THOMAS
VARIOUS ARTISTS
 

CHRIS BARBER Upbeat Jazz 146 Chris Barber At The BBC, 1961-62 ● CD $17.98
Britain's top traditional jazz band recorded live at the BBC in 1961 and '62 with its usual line up at the time - Pat Halcox/ trumpet, Ian Wheeler/ clarinet & alto sax, Eddie Smith/ banjo, Ottilie Patterson/ vocals and others. Includes Just A Little While To Stay Here/ Jeep's Blues/ Do What Ory Say/ I Can't Afford To Do It/ Ol' Man Mose/ Tuxedo Rag/ Maple Leaf Rag/ Black & Tan Fantsy, etc.

 
 
THE GEORGIA WASHBOARD STOMPERS Jazz Oracle 8036 The Complete Recordings - Recorded In New York, 1934-35 ● CD $15.98
21 tracks, 61 min, highly recommended The complete recordings by this hot Decca studio band, recorded at the tail end of the mid-30s washboard revival craze. Very hot trumpet (from current Chick Webb & future Ellingtonian Taft Jordan) & tenor (possibly from Webb's Elmer Williams), with Jake Fenderson on washboard & vocals. There were only 2 sessions - a 8/47 session focuses on jazz "warhorses" & includes rare alternate takes on test-pressings for Tiger Rag/ Alexander's Ragtime Band & Limehouse Blues. The 7/35 session adds Ben Smith on alto for a smoother sound, with this session focussing on pop tunes including Lulu's Back in Town/ The Lady In Red, & I'm Livin' In A Great Big Way. (GM)

 
STAN GETZ Proper BOX 52 The Sound ● CD $25.98
4 discs, 88 tracks, essential. Long before Stan was a household name as the king of Bossa Nova with Girl From Ipanema, he was one of the most influential bop & early cool tenor blowers, having a breathy tone inspired by Lester Young. This set has his early Prestige & Roost sides 49-52, along with early sessions for Savoy in '46 & Sittin' In With in '48. Though he came up in the more progressive mid-40s big bands (Goodman, Kenton, Herman) Stan preferred recording in quartet form with just piano, bass & drums, & when expanding to quintet, the other voice was guitar. There's great players here, with pianists including Horace Silver, Duke Jordan & Al Haig (he would use many of Charlie Parker's sidemen), the guitarists were Jimmy Raney & Johnny Smith (Smith was actually the leader on the session that produced the huge hit Moonlight In Vermont), & there's even a session with Charlie Mingus on bass. The Quintet is even heard on a couple of live sessions including an NBC broadcast. The 2 large sessions include his famous session as The 5 Brothers Bop Tenor Sax Stars with Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Alan Eager & Brew Moore to re-create the Brothers sound of The Woody Herman Herd, & a session as The New Sound Stars for Savoy with a small group from the Herd including Simms & Cohn. Complete with fully-packed 44 page booklet. (GM)

 
WARDELL GRAY Proper BOX 55 The Wardell Gray Story ● CD $25.98
4 discs, 78 tracks, essential. Finally a good selection from this bop tenor giant, best known for Twisted as well as his classic tenor duel with Dexter Gordon - The Chase. Gray started off recording in Earl Hines' Orch in '45, which is where this set starts, with 5 sides with Gray solos done for ARA in '45-46 & Sittin' In With in '46. After that Gray would record on his own, as a sideman with Tadd Dameron, & as a member of Benny Goodman's Sextet & later bop-based Orch for Capital & for Count Basie's Octet. Besides having most of his own Prestige sides, there are a LOT of live recordings, some of which came out on such labels as Xanadu & Spotlite as well as Prestige & give the bands, many of them all-star aggregations, plenty of room to stretch out - this includes a 17 min. Backbreaker with Sonny Criss & Barney Kessel, as well as the short-lived International All-stars with Swedish clarinetist Stan Hasslegard, both of whom were snatched up by Goodman. Plenty of great stuff with sidemen from the Central Avenue crowd. The sides with the Tadd Dameron band (with Fats Navarro) are alternate takes to those in the Fats box. Comes with 40-page booklet with full liner notes, discography & rare pics. (GM)

 
TED HEATH & HIS MUSIC Proper Pairs 116 Big Ben Bounce ● CD $12.98
2 discs, 51 tracks, recommended A fine survey of the early music of this fine band, probably the best of the post-war British Big Bands. Starting with his 1st sides in '44 cut while he was still playing tenor in Geraldo's Orch, then finally going on his own in '45, the band started as a Glenn Miller-ish staid dance band, but started getting more loose, hiring more arrangers until there was a point where Tadd Dameron was doing arrangements for the band that verged on bebop. Among the musicians are such British greats as Kenny Baker (not the singer) who played trumpet, wrote & arranged, Jack Parnell on drums & vocals & future jazz great Ronnie Scott. With fact-filled 16 page booklet, (GM)

 
ISHAM JONES The Old Masters 133 Volume 1 ● CD $14.98
First volume of recordings by this popular Chicago dance band features 26 tracks recorded between October, 1929 and March, 1931.

 
THELONIOUS MONK Proper Pairs 114 Criss Cross ● CD $12.98
2 discs, 31 tracks, essential. This set covers Monk's less-known Blue Note sides from 10/47 through 7/51, along with his sides cut as sideman with Coleman Hawkins done for the Joe Davis label in 44. Here are early versions of such gems as Evonce, Thelonious, Ruby My Dear, In Walked Bud, Monk's Mood, 'Round About Midnight, Evidence, Mysterioso, Straight No Chaser & more that he would re-record for Prestige & Columbia. These were done before his group with Sonny Rollins, so horn men include Idries Sullieman, Danny Quebec, Sahib Shihab along with Milt Jackson & Art Blakey. The set starts off with a couple of tunes from the legendary Minton's Playhouse live recordings from '41, the birth of Bebop, with some astonishing playing from Charlie Christian. These were done by an amateur taper &, though a bit rough sounding, the 8+ minutes of each tune really gives you a chance to hear these young guys stretch out! (GM)

 
THE ORIGINAL INDIANA FIVE Jazz Oracle 8034 Volume 4 - Recorded In New York, 1926-28 ● CD $14.98
24 tracks,66 min, highly recommended The final master takes by this group, one of the longest-lived of the original small-band Dixieland bands. Following a 10/26 session for Bell, their 1/27 session is unusual in that all 3 tunes are originals (The Crowl, Indiana Shuffle). The remainder of their 27/28 sides were mostly jazz standards (Memphis Blues, Sugar, Some Of These Days) done for the Emerson/Regal/ Oriole labels, though there were a few originals, notably Struttin' Jerry. There's also 2 sides by The Dixie Daisies which have been in OI5 discographies as that's who gets writers credits (Stompin' Fool/ Mississippi Mud) which now appears to be by a Sam Lanin group. Full liner notes, discography, photos as well as updated bio of all the OI5 members. (GM)

 
BUD POWELL Proper BOX 22 Tempus Fugue-It ● CD $25.98
4 discs, 86 tracks, essential. Amazing introduction to one of the troubled geniuses of Bop! Starting out as a sideman in pre-bop bands with Cootie Williams in '44 (with a front line of Cootie, Cleanhead Vinson & Lockjaw Davis!) & Frank Socolow in '45, a great Dexter Gordon Savoy session incl Long Tall Dexter, & a backing session for Sarah Vaughn for MusicCraft. And that's only disc 1! From there, it's Bebop bands with JJ Johnson, Fats Navarro & Sonny Stitt, with whom he would soon co-lead a band. Then finally those magical trio sides, done for Clef & Roost, with time out for some Stitt/Powell Quartet sides for Prestige (Curley Russell & Max Roach rounded out the group) & as part of Charlie Parker's group on the classic Donna Lee session as well as a Birdland broadcast from 6/3/50 with Fats Navarro on trumpet, who's also heard with Bud & Sonny on Bluenote! With 48 page booklet. (GM)

 
JACK PURVIS Jazz Oracle 8035 1928-1935 ● CD $43.98
3 discs, 74 tracks, 3 hrs 53 min, essential. The only reason that Purvis isn't as legendary as those other troubled trumpeters, Bix Beiderbecke & Bunny Berigan seems to be 1) he didn't die young (though his story's more weird - he made an appearance 6 years after his death!) & 2) there were only 3 sessions with 8 titles under his name (Okeh '29 & 30). The rest were as mostly anonymous sideman in pseudonymous sweet, dance & pop bands. But in many of these sides there would be a hot trumpet solo sticking out like a sore thumb & it was Jack! Jazz Oracle has done plenty to further his legend, with this 3 disc box that has the well researched & probably last word on Jack & then known sides. Many of these were groups run by manager Ed Kirkeby who kept meticulous notes, so we know that those hot solos for the Ted Wallace Orch & then '30-31 California Ramblers sides are indeed Jack (Kirkeby, who managed Fats Waller among others, called Jack the most talented musician he ever dealt with!) Jack's also heard behind a number of singers including Seger Ellis, Nick Lucas, Lee Morse & The Boswell Sisters. There's even a session as by Rube Bloom & His Bayou Boys which has Jack with Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey & Adrian Rollini. (GM)

 
DJANGO REINHARDT Proper BOX 53 Swing De Paris ● CD $25.98
4 discs, 103 tracks, essential. This is the best way to start off your Django collection - may even be the only one you need! All the other sets cover either the pre- or post-war sides - this is the only one to have significant portions of both. The only things NOT here are his early stints as sideman with such leaders as Alix Combelle. The majority of the sides here were recorded with the lineup of Django- guitar & Stephane Grappelli - violin backed by 2 guitars & bass. They were best known as Quintette du Hot Club de France, but this set starts with their earliest session when known as Django's Jazz. This starts off with the early Ultraphone/ Gramophone sides from '34-37 & for HMV in '37 before getting into the classic sides for Swing '37-44. These includes the wonderful duet & trio sides with violinist Eddie South, & the Decca sides cut in Paris & in London, along with a great set with Rex Stewart & His Feetwarmers which found Django with Ellingtonians Stewart, Barney Bigard & Billy Taylor. When WWII started, the group was in London. Grappelli stayed & Django fled back to Paris where he regrouped the Quintet with clarinetist Hubert Rostaing, which totally changed the sound. Recording for Swing, Blue Star & Decca, this material found Django working with larger bands & more horns, though there would be some post-war reunions with Grappelli. All the classics are here - Nuages, Djangology, Parfum, Minor Swing, Finesse, etc. With 44 page booklet with complete info. (GM)

 
THE SCAMPS Ace CDCHD 875 Red Hot! ● CD $18.98
23 tracks recorded in 1947 and 1948 for Modern by this fine and long lived vocal group from Kansas City who started in the 30s and are still active today (albeit with different line up). In addition to being fine vocalists they accompanied themselves on guitar, piano and bass. Mostly ballads performed in a smooth Ink Spots style alternating with the occasional up tempo jivey number. Includes Chicka Riddie Boogie/ Worry (Over You Like I Do)/ They All Say I'm The Biggest Fool/ Don't Cry Baby/ I Put A Nickel In The Slot/ Baby Don't You Cry/ Worry/ We'll Meet Again, etc. 12 of the tracks here are previously unissued. Includes 12 page booklet with photos, label shots and extensive notes by Opal Louis Nations.

 
THE SUNSHINE BOYS Retrieval 79039 1929-1931 The Complete Set ● CD $14.98
23 tracks, 69 mins, recommended. Joe & Dan Mooney were The Sunshine Boys, brothers who performed in a wonderfully airy & modernistical vocal harmony style reminiscent of The Rhythm Boys. Many of the tunes have fine minimal backing by Joe on piano, with added violin by Joe Venuti and guitar by Eddie Lang, Dick McDonaugh or Carl Kress with plenty of hot solos. There are also some sides as The Melotone Boys with the unusual lineup of The Mooneys, McDonough & Tommy Dorsey on trombone, plus there's 2 tunes done with the Mooneys singing with the Ben Selvin Orch which included McDonough, Jimmy Dorsey, Mannie Klein & Benny Goodman and a couple with Irving Mills & His Orchestra. Sound quality is superb thanks to John R.T. davies and booklet has informative notes by Chris Ellis. (FS)

 
KID THOMAS 504 Records 30 Kid Thomas Dixieland Band - 1957 With Washington ● CD $16.98
14 tracks recorded informally in New Orleans in 1957 including three previously unissued sides. Features Louis Nelson, Joe James, Burke Stevenson & Sammy Penn.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Archeophone 9007 The Phonographic Yearbook - 1922 ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, highly recommended. Archeophone is a label dedicated to making listenable CDs of discs originally recorded acoustically (pre-electric). Their latest volume has plenty of wonderful tunes. Something nice about hearing original versions of such tunes as Second Hand Rose & My Man, both by Fanny Brice, April Showers by Al Jolson, My Buddy by Henry Burr, I'm Just Wild About Harry by Vaughn De Leath & early versions of Ma! (He's Making Eyes At Me) by the Ishan Jones Orch, The Sheik (of Araby) by The Club Royal Orch, even Ernie Jones & Billy Hare (AKA The Happiness Boys, The Interwoven Pair, etc), doing a cover & getting the hit of Mr. Gallagher & Mr. Shean, while the originators, Ed Gallagher & Ed Shean do their follow-up hit to Mr Gallagher & Mr. Shean, "Positively Mr. Shean". Also includes sides by Eddie Cantor, Paul Whiteman Orch incl the original version of Hot Lip, along with a history of the year 1922. (GM)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Old Bean 505 The Wriggley Rag - A Musical Delve Into 1912 ● CD $16.98
A collection of recordings from 1912 featuring British music hall artists - Whit Cunliffe, Jack PLeasants, Wilkie Bard, Ella Retford, Harry Weldon, George Lashwood, G.H. Elliot, Harry Champion and others.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Old Bean 507 Hullo London Town- More Early Historical Recordings ● CD $16.98
More early recordings of British music hall artists - this time from 1915 - featuring Albert Whelan, George Formby, Florrie Forde, Mark Sheridan, Whit Cunliffe, Gus Elen and others.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Retrieval 79037 Jazz Goes Hawaiian ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, 74 mins, highly recommended. Delightful collection of 24 tracks featuring jazz groups performing Hawaiian flavored music and Hawaiian musicians playing in a jazzy style. It includes the incredibly rare Chili Blues by The Castle Farm Serenaders from the only known copy - a 1928 recording by an unknown group of jazz musicians with the addition on a steel guitarist. Artists featured include Gowan's Rhapsody Makers, Andrew Aiona Novelty Four, Sol Hoopi's Novelty Trio, Louis Armstrong (with his Orchestra doing Song Of The Islands and four cuts with Andy Iona & His Islanders including steel guitarist Sam Koki), King Nawahi's Hawaiians, Spike Hughes & His Orchestra, Red Nchols & His Five Pennies, Andy Iona & His Islanders, Fats Waller & His Rhythm and Manny Klein & His Swing-A-Hulas (with probably steel guitarist Sol K. Bright). Superb sound thanks to remastering by John R.T. Davies, informative notes by Chris Ellis and full discographical info. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Saga Jazz 66469 Scat Singing - The Art Of Vocal Jazz ● CD $12.98
Fine 22 track collection of scat singing covering the period 1927 to 1949 including sides by Louis Armstrong, Jabbo Smith, Ethel Waters, Budd Johnson & Louis Armstrong, The Mills Brothers, Buddy Stewart & Dave Lambert, Ella Fitzgerald, Leo Watson, Roy Eldridge & Mel Torme, Bunny Briggs, Dizzy Gillespie & Joe Carroll and others. Excellent sound and informative booklet with notes in French and English and full discographical data.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Shanachie DVD 702 Birmingham Black Bottom-The First All Black Cast Talkies ● CD $21.98
DVD Though there's not a lot of music here this is a fascinating DVD reissue of some of the first talking pictures featuring all African-American performers. Produced by the Christie Company in 1929 there are four short films adapted from Octavus Roy Cohen's "Darktown Birmingham" stories featured in the Saturday Evening Post for many years. The four stories feature pretty much the same cast including the multi-talented Spencer Williams who was a musician in his own right and later went on to greater fame(?) as Andy Brown in the Amos & Andy TV shows of the early 50s. The first short "Music Has Harms" features musical performances by Curtis Mosby's Dixieland Blue Blowers based in Los Angeles and the third "Framing Of The Shrew" features a vaudeville blues sung by Evelyn Preer. Visual and sound quality is generally excellent considering the age and rarity of these items.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Soho 003 Cafe De Paris ● CD $17.98
Three CD set featuring 60 tracks from the late 20s to early 40s by six of the top French vocalists of the time - Charles Trenet, Jean Sablon, Edith Piaf, Josephine Baker, Maurice Chevalier and Tino Rossi. Includes 12 page booklet with brief notes on each of the artists, photos and discographical details.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Sounds Of Yesterday 609 The Gals Who Made The Big Bands Swing ● CD $13.98
21 track collection of live performances featuring some of the top female vocalists of the big band era - Martha Tilton, June Christy, Billie Holiday, Rosemary Clooney, Jo Stafford, Lena Horne, Anita O'Day, Betty & Rosemary Clooney and Marion Hutton.

 

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