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NEWSLETTER #137
Jazz, Dance Bands & Vocalists
Chet Baker ->
Titi Winterstein Quintett
 

 

 

NEW BOOK

 
DJANGO THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF A GYPSY LEGEND by Michael Dregni ● BOOK $35.00
Hardbound, 326 pages, counts as five CDs for shipping
Acclaimed new biography of one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Dregni chronicles Djamgo's life including insight into Gypsy culture, sheds new light on Django's musicianship, explores his partnership with Stephane Grapelli, his later music with a bebop ensemble as well as his many compositions including symphonic pieces and an unfinished organ Mass.

 

NEW DVDS

 
NOTE: Unless otherwise noted all DVDs offered are in NTSC format which means that they will not play on a European DVD players unless you have a multiple format player.
 
DDIE "LOCKJAW" DAVIS Eagle Eye 39066 Jazz in Montreux Presents Eddie Lockjaw Davis '77 ● DVD $10.98
47 min, recommended
The big tenor saxist has wonderful backing band here, the Oscar Peterson Trio with Ray Brown on bass! This is a DVD issue of the Pablo set that came out in '81 as Eddie Lockjaw Davis Four. This Can't Be Love / Blue Lou / The Breeze & I / Angel Eyes, 4 more. (GM)

 
DUKE ELLINGTON & HIS ORCHESTRA Storyville 16033 Jazz Legends ● DVD $11.98
A treasure trove of vintage film shorts including "Black & Tan" from 1929 featuring Black & Tan Fantasy/ Cotton Club Stomp and more, "Symphony In Black" from 1934, I've Got To Be A Rug Cutter from "The Hit Parade Of 1937" and more.

 
TOMMY FLANAGAN TRIO Eagle Eye 39068 Jazz in Montreux Presents Tommy Flanagan Trio '77 ● DVD $10.98
52 min, recommended
This swingin' set 1st appeared in '92 on LP minus 1 track that was added to the later CD issue. Here you can see the trio (Flanagan/piano, Keeter Best/bass, Bobby Durham/drums) dong such gems as Blue Bossa / Woody'n You / Heat Wave & a couple of medleys. (GM)

 
CARMEN MCRAE/ MANHATTAN TRANSFER Eagle Eye 39074 Live In Tokyo/ Vocalese Live ● DVD $14.98
1 DVD, 2 80 min programs, recommended
The 1st vol of Eagle Eye's Double Time Jazz Collection has 2 sets of jazz vocals, both from the '80s & both live in Tokyo. Manhattan Transfer's set is from Feb 20 & 21, 1986 backed by a quintet led by keyboard player Yaron Gershovsky, & featuring their regular guitarist Wayne Johnson. This set features 8 of the tunes from their fine '85 LP Vocalese that was dedicated to the lyrics of Jon Hendricks of Lambert Hendricks & Ross fame. Includes an incredible Airegin along with along with their vocal version of Weather Report's Birdland, & even one from their very 1st (& my favorite) LP, The Java Jive. Carmen's set is from 2 months later, 4/15/86 (19 years to the day that I write this!) with tasty backing from a trio led by pianist Pat Coil. There's 21 performances here & includes one of my fave jive tunes, Nat Cole's I'm An Errand Girl For Rhythm, along with such standards as My Old Flame / That Old Black Magic / But Not For Me / Thou Swell, & all you Miles Davis fans can finally hear the lyrics to If I Were A Bell! (GM)

 
CHARLES MINGUS Eagle Eye 39047 Live At Montreux 1975 ● DVD $14.98
85 min, essential
Wonderful set by Mingus's Changes 1 & 2 band, Jack Walrath/ trumpet, George Adams/ tenor sax, Don Pullen/ piano & of course Dannie Richmond/ drums. Starting out with Adams' blues shouting vocals on Devil Blues, the highlight is the 35 minute version of Sue's Changes. The last two tracks have the quintet joined by Benny Bailey/trumpet & Gerry Mulligan/bari sax, for Goodbye Porkpie Hat & Take The "A" Train. Sound in stereo, 5.1 & DTS, opening liner notes read by Nat Hentoff. (GM)

 
OSCAR PETERSON Eagle Eye 39090 Jazz in Montreux Presents Oscar Peterson Solo '75 ● DVD $10.98
50 min, essential
A tour-de-force solo concert by a master at his peak! More than half the set is a long Ellington medley that's filled with faves & the obscure Lady Of The Lavender Mist. Also a wild Indiana that would do his hero, Art Tatum, proud. (GM)

 
CLARK TERRY SEXTET Eagle Eye 39064 Jazz in Montreux Presents Clark Terry Sextet '77 ● DVD $10.98
56 min highly recommended
A nice relaxing set that has 4 wonderful soloists, Terry (trumpet), Ronnie Scott (tenor sax) Milt Jackson (vibes) & Joe Pass (guitar), with extended tunes allowing for a lot of stretching out. My fave may be the nearly 15 min Samba de Orfeo. Also God Bless The Child/ Pennies From Heaven/ Donna Lee/ Sweethearts On Parade and Minor Blues. (GM)

 

 

NEW COMPACT DISCS

 
CHET BAKER Proper BOX 84 The Early Years ● CD $24.98
Four CD set with 75 sides recorded between 1952 and 1954 by this versatile musician who rose to fame as a great jazz trumpeter and later became known as a vocal stylist as well. Includes recordings with Sonny Criss, Charlie Parker, Gerry Mulligan, Russ Freeman and others.

 
COUNT BASIE Acrobat 4020 Jukebox Hits 1940-1952 ● CD $13.98
20 tracks, 60 min, essential
Here's Basie you don't hear every day. My favorite, & his most-reissued sides were done for Decca 1936-40. The only Decca side heard here is the classic One O'Clock Jump, cuz it was reissued by Victor in '47 & still hit the charts! What's here are the '40-46 Okeh/Columbia sides & the '47-'50 Victor hits. Of course Mr. 5x5, Jimmy Rushing is here on vocals, but there's a bunch of females thrush's you don't usually hear, like Lynne Sherman singin All Of Me, Thelma Carpenter singing and something rare, Basie covering Duke - on I Didn't Know About You, & Ann More singin Jivin' Joe Jackson. Rushing is here on such classics as Goin' To Chicago Blues/ I Want A Little Girl, & fun cover of Open The Door Richard with Sweets Edison taking a comic vocal on this & a follow-up tune Free Eats! (GM)
COUNT BASIE: All Of Me/ Blue And Sentimental/ Blue Skies/ For The Good Of Your Country/ Free Eats/ Goin' To Chicago Blues/ I Ain't Mad At You/ I Didn't Know About You/ I Want A Little Girl/ Jimy's Blues/ Jivin' Joe Jackson/ One O'Clock Boogie/ One O'Clock Jump/ Open The Door, Richard!/ Paradise Squat/ Patience And Fortitude/ Red Bank Boogie/ Robbin's Nest/ Rusty Dusty Blues/ The Mad Boogie

 
NORA BAYES & JACK NORWORTH Archeophone 5007 Together And Alone ● CD $26.98
2 discs, 51 tracks, highly recommended
Vaudeville stars Bayes & Norworth, "America's Happiest Couple" were prolific, but unfortunately little of their act together exists, as most of the tunes here are solo. Only two of their duets are here, & their signature tune never was waxed - Shine On Harvest Moon, nor is the most famous song that Norworth wrote - Take Me Out To The Ball Game! What is here is wonderful vaudeville tunes & routines from these Follies stars, recorded for Victor 1910-17 & does include Bayes' signature hit Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly?, as well as her duets with Gertrude Lang & with Irving Fisher. Bayes (born Lenore Goldberg) is especially good in dialect tunes including Yiddish, Irish & "Coon". Songs & routines include What Good Is Water When You're Dry/ When Old Bill Bailey Plays The Ukulele/ Sister Susie's Sewing For The Soldiers as well as the follow-up Mother's Sitting Knitting Little Mittens & my fave, I Work 8 Hours, Sleep 8 Hours, That Leaves 8 Hours For Love. Another wonderful selection in the Archeophone Personality series, with thick booklet with exhaustive liner notes that even includes ads & period newspaper articles. And as a special bonus, we get a private recording from 1950 that Jack made for friends that has him singing Harvest Moon. (GM)

 
BROTHER BONES & HIS SHADOWS Acrobat 4081 Globetrottin' With Bones ● CD $13.98
17 tracks, recommended
The first ever CD release devoted to this unique performer, Freeman Davis aka Brother Bones - one of the few artists to make commercial recordings featuring his bones playing. His 1949 recording of Sweet Georgia Brown featured him whistling the old standard, accompanying himself on bones, joined by clarinetist Joe Darensbourg and an unknown organist. It became a top 10 pop and R&B hit and in 1952 was adopted by The Harlem Globetrotters basketball as their theme song and at the beginning of each game would enter the auditorium whistling along with Bones' meaning that in spite of its obscurity has been heard by millions of people worldwide. Most of his recordings are pretty much in the same vein, sometimes with a larger backing group. Tunes include Red Wing/ China Town/ Jada/ Rosetta/ Five Foot Two Eyes Of Blues/ Listen To The Mockingbird/ Poor Butterfly/ Lou-Easy-An-I-A, etc. Sound is excellent and booklet has information on the history of bones playing and brief biographical notes on Davis. (FS)

 
CLIFFORD BROWN Proper BOX 86 Joy Spring ● CD $24.98
Four CD survey of the key recordings of this brilliant trumpeter who died tragically early at the age of 25. It includes recordings made with the likes of Lou Donaldson, Tadd Dameron, Philly Joe Jones, Quincy Jones and most famously the quintet he co-led with drummer Max Roach.

 
HENRY BURR Archeophone 5502 Henry Burr Anthology - The Original King Of Pop ● CD $14.98
27 tracks, 78 min, highly recommended
Forget Wacko Jacko, here's the REAL king! Harry McGlasky recorded over 5000 tunes under his real name, as Irving Gillette & most famously as Henry Burr, to become one of early recording's 1st superstars! Starting out at the turn of the century (his '02 & '03 recordings start things off) much of what he 1st recorded seems old hat by now, but these standards had to come from somewhere. This includes his most famous early tunes ISilver Hair Among The Gold /M-O-T-H-E-R ("M is for the many things she gave me"), Shine On Harvest Moon / I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now / Peg O' My Heart / When You & I Were Young Maggie. But the one that will really make you sit up & notice is one done much later by another King, Are You Lonesome Tonight. Full exhaustive biographical & historical info + pics in the 24 page booklet. (GM)

 
DORIS DAY Varese 66519 Lost Treasures with Les Brown & His Orchestra ● CD $13.98
17 tracks, 48 min, recommended
Rarities from '44-46, probably 1st time legitimately released. The 1st 9 are World Transcriptions, recorded solely for broadcast & include Oh What It Seems To Be / Swingin' On A Star & It Might As Well Be Spring. The rest are from live radio broadcasts & includes Doris & Les's signature tune Sentimental Journey, along withLong Ago (& Far Away) / A Kiss To Remember & Invitation To The Blues, with a bonus version of The Lady From 29 Palms from a 10/47 broadcast of Your Hit Parade. All but Sentimental are heard here for the 1st time, on no other extant studio recordings! (GM)

 
JIMMY DORSEY Varese 66479 The Fabulous Jimmy Dorsey ● CD $13.98
14 tracks, 37 min, excellent
Reissue of Fraternity 1008 from 1957. This LP is a strange bird, Dorsey hadn't had a hit since '50, but was given a chance from an anti-rock'n'roll-er & ended up having a smash hit with So Rare. Only problem was that Jimmy had been down as well as ill since brother Tommy died in '56, shortly after the session, with Jimmy himself dying in '57 shortly after receiving his gold record in his hospital bed. And the problem was, though there was this hit, there were only 4 tracks total recorded. So big-band vet, trumpeter Lee Castle, was given a band to record as "Jimmy Dorsey", which is what fills the remainder of this album. There is a nice bonus too, an alternate take of So Rare with some studio chatter! (GM)

 
DUKE ELLINGTON Acrobat 4021 Jukebox Hits 1941-1951 ● CD $13.98
20 tracks, 60 min, highly recommended
There's a lot of Duke reissues & I don't think there's such thing as bad Duke, but this hits the spot, no obscurities, no alternate takes, just the hits! Even includes sideman Johnny Hodges' (actually a Duke small-band recording) Goin' Out The Back Way, recorded in '41 & a Top 10 in '43! Also Flamingo/ Take The A Train/ Don't Get Around Much Anymore/ "C" Jam Blues & a few wartime novelties Hayfoot Strawfoot & A Slip Of The Lip Can Sink A Ship (GM)
DUKE ELLINGTON: A Slip Of The Lip (Can Sink A Ship)/ Castle Rock/ Come To Baby Do/ Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me/ Don't Be So Mean To Baby ('Cause Baby's So Good To You)/ Don't Get Around Much Anymore/ Don't You Know I Care/ Flamingo/ Goin Out The Back Way/ Hayfoot Strawfoot/ I Ain't Got Nothing But The Blues/ I Don't Mind/ I'm Beginning To See The Light/ Main Stem/ My Little Brown Book/ Perdido/ Sentimental Lady/ Someone/ Take The ‘A' Train/ The 'C' Jam Blues

 
DUKE ELLINGTON JSP JSPCD 924 Volume 1: 1926-1929 :Mrs Clinkscales To The Cotton Club ● CD $28.98
First in what is expected to be a series of comprehensive box sets documenting the career of one of the twentieth century's greatest musicians - Duke Ellington. In spite of the title this set encompasses the period November 1924 to January 1929 staring with his piano accompaniment to vaudeville singer Alberta Prime. It also features him in groups accompanying vocalists Florence Bristol, Alberta Jones as well as a member of The Washingtonians and leading his own group featuring the talents of musicians like Don Redman, Bubber Miley, Otto Hardwick, Louis Metcalf, Sonny Greer, Joe Nanton, Barney Bigard, JOhnny Hodges, Wellman Braud, Fred Guy and others with vocals by Adelaide Hall, Ozie Ware and others. Includes brief notes and full discographical details.

 
DUKE ELLINGTON Varese 66122 Swingin' With The Duke ● CD $13.98
18 tracks, 63 min, highly recommended
Duke always kept his band on notice, taking them into the studio anytime day or night at the drop of a hat, as well as recording them live. This set is from the Duke's private stash, from live gigs & after-hours sessions, from '56-68. The good thing about Duke is that his men stayed on for decades, so even at this late date the stalwarts are still here, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Ray Nance, Russell Procope, Harry Carney, Cat Anderson, Cootie Williams. Listen to such little-known Ducal tunes as Love Scene / "G" For Groove / September 12th Blues / Feet Bone as well as such faves as Take The A Train & his version of Stompin' At The Savoy. (GM)

 
STAN GETZ Savoy Jazz 17121 The Complete Savoy Recordings ● CD $16.98
Three sessions held for Savoy in the 40s - one from 1946 by The Stan Getz Quartet (with Hank Jones, Curly Russell & Max Roach), one from 1945 with Kai Winding's New Jazz Group (Shorty Rogers, Kai Winding, Shelly Manne, etc) and one from 1949 with Earl Swop, Zoot Sims, Duke Jordan, Jimmy Raney and others. Includes two previously unissued alternate takes of Opus De Bop. Includes 16 page booklet with notes, photos and discographical details.

 
LUD GLUSKIN Jazz Oracle 8045 1924-1933 ● CD $28.98
2 discs, 48 tracks, highly recommended
Some of the very earliest hot jazz from Europe. American Gluskin was drummer in Paul Whiteman's Orch when they toured Europe, & he decided to stay. The set, from this first in a proposed series of Euro-Jazz, starts with Lud recording in Austria with Paul Gason Orch in'24, Austria's 1st jazz recordings. After awhile he hooked up with a US band transplanted to Paris, The Playboys heard here in a hot Ain't She Sweet with awful vocals done for Pathe' in '27. Now part of Gluskin's Orch, along with some French musicians, started a long series of recordings done in France for Pathe', then to Berlin for a very rare '29 Homocord coupling along with some for Ultraphon, Tri Eregon (VERY rare film recordings) & Deutsche Grammophon/ Polydor, then back to Pathe. Musicians of note include Eddie Ritten on trumpet, former Original Dixieland Jazz Band trombonist Emile Christian, Gene Prendergast on reeds. Tunes include Clarinet Marmalade/ Whiteman Stomp/ Milenberg Joys/ Doin' The New Low Down. Booklet with exhaustive liner notes, pics, info. (GM)

 
BENNY GOODMAN Collector's Choice 485 Benny's Girls ● CD $15.98
24 track collection of sides recorded by Goodman for Columbia between 1934 and 1951 featuring some his lesser known female vocalists like Ann Graham, Jane Harvey, Dottie Reid, Eve Young and others. These are appearing on CD for the first time in the USA and the set includes eight unreleased songs and four unreleased alternate takes.

 
RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK Collectables 6345 Blacknuss ● CD $11.98
Reissue of 1971 Atlantic album featuring this avant garde saxophonist in a soul groove on Marvin Gaye's What's Going On and Mercy Mercy Me, the traditional Old Rugged Cross, Bill Withers' Ain't No Sunshine and more.

 
ANDY KIRK & HIS CLOUDS OF JOY Acrobat 4077 Jukebox Hits, 1936-1949 ● CD $13.98
22 tracks, 66 min, essential
One of my fave underrated bands featuring the keys & arrangements of the wondrous Mary Lou Williams, & such great musicians as Don Byas, Shorty Baker & pioneer electric-guitarist Floyd Smith, heard here in the landmark Floyd's Guitar Blues. Vocalists include the smooth-voiced Pha Terrell, the boisterous June Rochmond, Billy Daniels, Bea Booze, & pre-doowop vocals from The Jubilaires & The Four Knights. Interestingly, their 1st (on Decca) & last (on Vocalion) hits were covers, the former being Fletcher Henderson's Christopher Columbus & the latter Sticks McGhee's Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee. In between are such classics as the original Until The Real Thing Comes Along / Take It & Git, a pre-bop tune called Wham Re Bop Boom Bam / Get Together With The Lord, & an interesting jump number called Hey Lawdy / Mama (Meet Me At The Bottom), a pre-Howlin' Wolf/John Lee Hooker version of the classic "Meet me at the bottom/ Bring me my boots & Shoes"! (GM)
ANDY KIRK & HIS CLOUDS OF JOY: 47th St Jive/ Christopher Columbus/ Dedicated To You/ Doggin' Man Blues/ Drinking Wine, Spo Dee O Dee/ Floyd's Guitar Blues/ Get Together With The Lord/ Hey Lawdy Mama (Meeet Me In The Bottom)/ How I Lay Me Down To Dream/ I Don't Know What I'd Do Without You/ I Know/ I Won't Tell A Soul (I Love You)/ I'm Falling For You/ I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry/ Little Girl Don't Cry/ Skies Are Blue/ So Soon/ Soothe Me/ Take It And Git/ Until The Real Thing Comes Along/ Wham Re Bop Boom Bam/ What Will I Tell My Heart

 
GLENN MILLER Avid 139 The Glenn Miller Story, Vol. 1-4 ● CD $43.98
Four CD set with 102 tracks. The first in a series presenting the story of the most popular bandleader of the 20th Century. The first two discs cover Miller as a sideman (Ben Pollack & His Californians, Sam Lanin & His Orch., The Mound City Blue Blowers, Joe Venuti & His Orch., etc) as well as his own early band sides. Discs 3 and 4 mark the beginning of his years with Victor including the breakthrough recording of his signature tune Moonlight Serenade as well as his first hit Little Brown Jug. The set also includes live 1939 airshots from the Meadowbank Ballroom and The Glen Island Casino.

 
LUCKY MILLINDER Acrobat 4029 Jukebox Hits, 1942-1951 ● CD $13.98
20 tracks, 59 min, essential
Wonderful music from a solid & seldom reissued band. Besides, over the years, having such great musicians as Bill Doggett, Freddie Webster, Sam "The Man" Taylor, Tab Smith, just check out his vocalists, Rosetta Tharpe (here with the original version of her Shout Sister Shout!), Wynonie "Mr. Blues" Harris (Who Threw The Whiskey In The Well), Bullmoose Jackson (heard here with the band on the follow-up I Know Who Threw The Whiskey In The Well, released under his own name on Queen, as well as the huge hitI Love You Yes I Do on King), Annisteen Allen (In The Middle Of The Night), & even Lucky himself on the classic he wrote, Shorty's Got To Go. And if D Natural Blues sounds familiar, it's a cover of the early Fletcher Henderson tune which was revived as The Hucklebuck! (GM)
LUCKY MILLINDER: Apollo Jump/ Are You Ready?/ Big Fat Mama/ D' Natural Blues In The Middle Of The Night/ Hurry Hurry/ I Know Who Threw The Whiskey In The Well - Bull Moose Jackson/ I Love You Yes I Do - Bull Moose Jackson/ I Want A Tall Skinny Papa/ I'll Never Be Free/ I'm Waiting Just For You/ Let It Roll/ Little Girl Don't Cry/ Oh Babe/ Savoy/ Shorty's Got To Go/ Shout Sister Shout/ Sweet Slumber/ When The Lights Go On Again (All Over The World)/ Who Through The Whiskey In The Well

 
FRANK NEWTON Jasmine 633 The Story Of A Forgotten Jazz Trumpeter ● CD $18.98
Two CD set with 50 tracks recorded between 1929 and 1944 by this brilliant jazz trumpeter who died in 1954 at the age of 48. It features him in the company of musicians like Sidney Bechet, Mezz Mezzrow, Willie "The Lion" Smith, Teddy Hill, Buster Bailey and others.

 
CHARLIE PARKER Savoy Jazz 17492 The Genius Of Charlie Parker ● CD $18.98
Two CD set featuring 35 classic performances, studio and live, recorded for Dial and Savoy between 1945 and 1949 including sessions with Tiny Grimes Quintette, Dizzy Gillespie All Star Quintet and The Miles Davis All Stars as well as sessions with his own groups. Other musicians include Tadd Dameron, Al Haig, Max Roach, Curly Russell, Milt Jackson, Dodo Marmarosa, Lucky Thompson, Howard McGhee, Wardell Gray and other legendary names. Remastered in 24 bit digital from original acetate and tape masters and includes 20 page booklet with notes on the performances and full discographical info.

 
BEN POLLACK Jazz Oracle 8044 Volume 7: The Whoopee Makers/ Ben Pollack & His Orchest ● CD $15.98
Jazz Oracle 8044 22 tracks, 63 min, highly recommended
The final 15 recordings of The Whoopie Makers highlight this set, done in '29 for Apex/ Banner/ Cameo. How can you go wrong with a group that includes Jack Teagarden, Benny Goodman, Jimmy Dorsey, Jimmy McPartland, & Ray Baduc. I especially love the vocals by banjo player Dick Morgan, in a style he would perfect in Spike Jones' City Slickers when he became known as Icky Morgan. There's also an all-star Teagarden-led session for Banner from '31 with his brother Charlie, Pee Wee Russel, Sterling Bose, Matty Matlock, Adrian Rollini, Eddie Miller, Ray Baduc, Nappy Lamare even, with Fats Waller as guest on China Boy & Tiger Rag, & Gene Austin on vocals on the other two. The set ends with a session with most of the above as The Ben Pollack Orch in a 3/33 Victor session. If you've been following along on the other 6 volumes, the liner notes bring the continuing Pollack bio to a close. Booklet full of info, rare pics & exhaustive info. (GM)

 
LUIS RUSSELL Retrieval 79023 The Luis Russell Story ● CD $22.98
Two CDs, 48 tracks, highly recommended
48 tracks (including several alternate takes) recorded between 1929 and 1934 by the group considered to be one of the hottest and most swingin' in New York in the late 20s/ early 30s. Some of the sides are with smaller groups The Burning Eight and Jungle Town Stompers while the rest are by the 10 piece orchestra. Sidemen include Charlie Holmes on clarinet, alto or soprano sax, Louis Metcalf, Henry Allen, Bill Coleman or Otis Johnson/ tpt, J.C. Higginbotham/ tb and others. Includes vocals by Walter "Fats" Pichon, Higginbotham, Andy Razaf, Jesse Cryor and others. The recordings here have been remastered by amazing John R.T. Davies and sound like they could have been recorded yesterday and not more than 70 years ago! 20 page booklet has extensive notes by Richard Sudhalter and full discographical info. (FS)

 
WILBUR SWEATMAN Jazz Oracle 8046 Recorded In New York, 1926-1935 ● CD $28.98
2 discs, 58 tracks, highly recommend
From JO's series on "gaspipe" type clarinet players comes this groundbreaking set on the pioneering Sweatman. If you have heard of him, it's because the young Duke Ellington & pals 1st connected with him after Duke left DC in'23. In fact, Battleship Kate from '24 may be a very early Duke appearance. This vaudevillian was one of the 1st Black artists to headline in vaudeville, and to record & play with a racially mixed group. His first (unfortunately lost) recordings were from '03, & by '17 had the word "Jass" in his band name. There is a lot of theatrical slurring in both the clarinet & trombone, & at times more hot music than jazz, but the music is consistently likable & by the 2nd disc really swings! Usual exhaustive booklet with complete bio, history, discography & pics. Note : This set includes everything that was on the previously issued Archeophone CD. (GM)

 
MEL TORME Varese 66584 The Intimate Mel Torme ● CD $13.98
18 tracks, 33 min, essential
Short but very sweet set of rare mid-50s transcriptions done near the end of Mel's tenure with Capitol, with mostly small bands with prominent piano, some with Latin percussion. Mel wrote The Christmas Song ("Chestnuts roasting on an open fire"), but since label mate Nat Cole was having continuous hit power with it, Mel wasn't allowed to record a competing version, here is his only recording of the evergreen from the time her wrote it! The remaining tunes are standards, or what is now touted as "The Great American Songbook", The Night We Called It A Day/ The Glory Of Love/ It Never Entered My Mind/ Long Ago & Far Away, etc. (GM)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Archeophone 3002 The Complete Hit Of The Week Recordings, Vol. 1 ● CD $26.98
2 CDs, 46 tracks, essential
"HIT OF THE WEEK" was a unique idea - a very cheap (15 cents) record on a flexible material (durium-coated cardboard) that could be sold at news-stands. The company was able to outsell all other labels, but looked kinda scary as they were 10" & tended to curl. Starting in 2/30, these were put out weekly & included such artists as Don Vorhees, Ben Pollack, Vincent Lopez & Phil Spitalny Orchs, as well as the "Hit of the Week Orch" in whose ranks included the cream of the sessioners include Bunny Berigan, Mannie Klein, Leo McConville, Joe Tarto & Tommy Dorsey. The Harlem Hot Chocolates are actually the Duke Ellington Orch. The Happy-Rose Orch has Tommy Dorsey who is also in Bobby Dicon's Broadcasters along with Klein & Pee Wee Russell. All are here chronologically, including many extremely rare test pressings alternate takes & promotional discs. Full info on the recordings including the Durium process in exhaustive booklet, which sadly also carries the obituary of technical advisor John R.T. Davies. Songs include Tip-Toe Through The Tulips/ Get Happy/ Little White Lies/ There's Danger In Your Eyes Cherie, as well as the two incredible Hot Chocolate/Ellington tunes St. James Infirmary & Sing You Sinners. (GM)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Fremeaux & Associes 5096 Harmonica Swing ● CD $25.98
2 CDs, 1 hour 54 minutes, highly recommended
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 Proper BOX 82 Jazz At The Philharmonic ● CD $24.98
4 discs, 50 tracks, essential
In '44 Norman Granz had an idea - bring together the best in jazz, both black & white, & have them cut loose in a live setting. And insist that the audience is integrated!! Not only did these JATP concerts catch on, first at L.A.'s Philharmonic Hall, but, after it was banned there due to all that ruckus & mixture of the races, as a touring unit all over the US & then the world. Granz even recorded the shows & released the first ever live jazz recordings which led to his later Clef, Verve & Pablo labels. The majority of the first 10 years are here (some of the '44 concert is on Illinois Jacquet's own box, Properbox 49). Granz started off with a solid rhythm section, initially including Nat Cole, Les Paul, Johnny Miller & Lee Young, later adding Charlie Mingus, Buddy Rich, & for a very long time Oscar Peterson Trio with Herb Ellis & Ray Brown. On top of this solidness, the masters held battle - initially Illinois Jacquet, JJ Johnson, Shorty Sherrock & Jack McVea, & by '46 he had just on saxes Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins & then underrated Willie Smith. Not a whole lot of subtlety here, these were the battles! And the tunes lasted awhile - mostly between 10 & 20 minutes, which was unheard of in 40s & 50s jazz recordings. Many of the first & second tier jazz stars are here - Roy Eldridge, Benny Carter, Charlie Shavers, Bill Harris, Ben Webster, Flip Phillips, Georgie Auld, Joe Guy, Barney Kessel. And as for vocalists, Ella Fitzgerald had a very long run with JATP. As something extra special, not only did Granz use Billie Holiday, but here is a guest appearance, with Billie just backed by her accompanist Bobby Tucker on 4 tracks from Carnegie Hall in '47. Includes 44 page booklet with full info. (GM)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Varese 66538 Romantic Standards - Great American Love Songs ● CD $13.98
18 tracks, 52 min, recommended
Not only is this a beautiful collection, most of the tunes here you've never heard, as they were recorded for radio broadcast only for the Standard Transcription Service! Highlights incl Isn't It Romantic (Mel Torme') / I Hear A Rhapsody (Herb Ellis w/Duke Ellington Orch) / Someone To Watch Over Me (Lee Wiley w/Eddie Condon Band), much more by Patti Page, Vaughn Monroe, Martha Tilton, Kay Starr & Doris Day. (GM)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Proper BOX 88 Jazz In Britain, 1919-1950 ● CD $24.98
Extensive survey of the evolution of jazz music in the UK, as played by visiting luminaries from the USA as well as those who were inspired by the Americans but born and bred on home turf. Tracing the story from 1919 and the first visits to London by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, this set takes in visits to the UK by the likes of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman during the Swing era and then illustrates the influence these musicians had on the likes of homegrown talent such as Harry Parry, George Shearing and Nat Gonella. As the waves from the bebop revolution reached the UK in the '40s, musicians such as Ronnie Scott and John Dankworth took up the baton, their performances included here along with recordings of those who influenced them, such as Dizzy Gillespie. This set was compiled by Jim Godbolt, one of the UK's leading authorities on jazz as it has been performed in the UK, who has also written a companion book on the subject as well as the liners to this set. It includes many rare recordings that have never been issued on CD, or indeed LP, having only surfaced previously on 78s.

 
TITI WINTERSTEIN QUINTETT Bell 89351 Star Portrait ● CD $11.98
11 tracks, 52 mins, highly recommended
Superb collection of gypsy jazz by this group who are mostly from Alsace on the the French-German border. The group is spearheaded by the dynamic fiddling of Winterstein, the Djangoesque guitar of Lulu Reinhardt and the melodic acordion work of Klaus Bruder with second guitar and string bass. The group swings like crazy on the jazzier numbers but also incorporates elements of traditional Hungarian and Russian gypsy music in their repertoire. Most of the tunes are originals or based on traditional themes along with a version of the classic Limehouse Blues and a terrific version of Django's Minor Swing. This disc is a "best of" drawn from three albums released in the 80s and 90s and based on this one we'll have to try and track down the others! (FS)

 

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