1931-1940

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
As a boy in Charlotte, NC, Campbell A. Tolbert acquired the nickname "Skeets", which was short for "Mosquito." Proficient on the alto saxophone -- his sound has been compared to that of Johnny Hodges, Louis Jordan, and Pete Brown -- Tolbert made his first recordings with Taylor's Dixie Orchestra, and listeners are fortunate to have two recordings from 1931 as examples of his tenure with this grand old "territory band." Harry Prather blows fine tuba and the vocalists are excellent. Tolbert made his way to New York shortly thereafter and gigged with Fats Waller. He soon formed his own Gentlemen of Swing, a tight little group that performed in Greenwich Village and on 52nd ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
As a boy in Charlotte, NC, Campbell A. Tolbert acquired the nickname "Skeets", which was short for "Mosquito." Proficient on the alto saxophone -- his sound has been compared to that of Johnny Hodges, Louis Jordan, and Pete Brown -- Tolbert made his first recordings with Taylor's Dixie Orchestra, and listeners are fortunate to have two recordings from 1931 as examples of his tenure with this grand old "territory band." Harry Prather blows fine tuba and the vocalists are excellent. Tolbert made his way to New York shortly thereafter and gigged with Fats Waller. He soon formed his own Gentlemen of Swing, a tight little group that performed in Greenwich Village and on 52nd Street rather than uptown in Harlem. In addition to Tolbert's homie Harry Prather -- now playing the upright string bass -- this band had trumpeter Carl "Tatti" Smith, famous for having participated in the very first recordings ever made by Lester Young. That historical 1936 "Smith-Jones, Inc." session was also Count Basie's first date as a leader. Another strong player is tenor saxophonist Lem Johnson, who struts his stuff nicely on "Bouncing Rhythm" and sings bawdy lyrics during "The Stuff's Out." Johnson's vocal on "Railroad Blues" is relatively sobering, as is Clarence Easter's delivery on "Harlem Ain't What It Used to Be," a slow, serious evocation of economic hardship, strained living conditions, and an apparent need for rent control. Yet most of the material heard here was meant to entertain and amuse. "Papa's in Bed with His Britches On" is possibly even better than Una Mae Carlisle's version, recorded six months later. "W.P.A.," a send-up of the Works Progress Administration programs of the late '30s, makes fun of the entire concept with references to being lazy and the refrain "I'm so tired...but I can't get fired." Still and all, the most useful tunes here are the solid instrumentals like "Swing Out" and "Jumpin' Jack." This disc also contains a handful of sides which represent the recording debut of pianist and vocalist Charles "Red" Richards
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/7/1998
  • Label: Melodie Jazz Classic
  • EAN: 3307517097828
  • Catalog Number: 978
  • Sales rank: 253,615

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Wabash Blues - Taylor's Dixie Orchestra (3:26)
  2. 2 Everybody Loves My Baby - Taylor's Dixie Orchestra (2:47)
  3. 3 Skin 'Em Back (2:40)
  4. 4 Get Up (2:48)
  5. 5 Bouncing Rhythm (2:38)
  6. 6 I've Lost My Head over You (2:42)
  7. 7 This Is the End (3:17)
  8. 8 The Stuff's Out (3:20)
  9. 9 Railroad Blues (3:04)
  10. 10 I'm Blowin' My Top (2:36)
  11. 11 Fine Piece of Meat (2:43)
  12. 12 Swing Out (2:15)
  13. 13 Gimme Something Like That (2:25)
  14. 14 Hole Holy Roly-Poly (3:10)
  15. 15 Raz Ma Taz (2:47)
  16. 16 Harlem Ain't What It USTA Be (2:53)
  17. 17 Papa's in Bed with His Britches On (2:50)
  18. 18 W.P.A. (3:03)
  19. 19 I Can't Go for You (3:03)
  20. 20 Jumpin' Jack (2:59)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Skeets Tolbert Primary Artist
Lightnin' Slim Tenor Saxophone
Billy Hart Drums
John Drummond Bass
Jimmy Gunn Piano
Hubert Pettaway Drums, Vocals
Harry Prather Bass, Tuba
Babe Wallace Vocals
Lem Johnson Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone, Vocals
Leslie Johnakins Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
Freddy Jefferson Piano
Campbell Tolbert Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Vocals
Charles "Red" Richards Piano, Vocals
Babe Hines Vocals
Taylor's Dixie Orchestra Track Performer
Guy Harrington Banjo, Vocals
Technical Credits
Anatol Schenker Liner Notes
Campbell Tolbert Director
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