Ace of Rhythm

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
During the 1920s, Jabbo Smith was a promising young cornetist whose versatility and chutzpah invited comparison with Duke Ellington's first-chair soloist Bubber Miley. Both men suffered from the disease of alcoholism, and Bubber, who also contracted tuberculosis, perished when he was only 29 years old. Although Jabbo survived and would live past the age of 80, he was inactive for most of his life and never came anywhere near matching the triumphs of his youth, many of which are documented on Pearl's Ace of Rhythm, a 25-track sampler of recordings made between November 1927 and February 1938. Unlike Smith's entry in the Classics Chronological Series, Ace of Rhythm contains...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
During the 1920s, Jabbo Smith was a promising young cornetist whose versatility and chutzpah invited comparison with Duke Ellington's first-chair soloist Bubber Miley. Both men suffered from the disease of alcoholism, and Bubber, who also contracted tuberculosis, perished when he was only 29 years old. Although Jabbo survived and would live past the age of 80, he was inactive for most of his life and never came anywhere near matching the triumphs of his youth, many of which are documented on Pearl's Ace of Rhythm, a 25-track sampler of recordings made between November 1927 and February 1938. Unlike Smith's entry in the Classics Chronological Series, Ace of Rhythm contains numerous examples that were not issued under his name. This allows for a pleasantly varied overview as Jabbo is heard filling in for Bubber with Duke Ellington's Orchestra and participating in an unusual chamber jazz session with the Louisiana Sugar Babes (a quartet that included pianist James P. Johnson, pipe organist Fats Waller, and multi-reedman Garvin Bushell) and with a scruffy little outfit operating under the nominal leadership of Banjo Ikey Robinson; during the lusty opus bearing the title "Got Butter on It," Smith delivers a handsome scat vocal in the manner of Louis Armstrong. All of this serves as a prelude to 16 marvelous performances by Jabbo Smith's Rhythm Aces (also known as Four Aces and the Jokers), a sturdy little group whose variable personnel included Robinson, clarinetist and tenor saxophonist Omer Simeon, tubists Hayes Alvis and Lawson Buford, and pianists Cassino Simpson and Earl Frazier. The interplay between Smith and Simeon is particularly exciting, and "Jazz Battle" is probably the best record that this group or its leader ever made. "Rub Me Some More" was recorded in 1930 by Lloyd Smith & His Gut-Bucketeers. (Discographical evidence indicates that the cornetist on this tune is not Smith at all but Clarence "Count" Rich.) Finally, the producers of this collection were wise enough to include only the instrumental number from Jabbo's Decca session of February 1, 1938, by which time he had switched to using the trumpet. There are numerous options available to those who are curious about Jabbo Smith's early recorded works. EPM Jazz Archives beat them all with a double-disc set packed with 48 tracks representing pretty much every recording made between 1928 and 1938 involving Jabbo Smith. Dipping back to 1927 to include the Ellington sides and carefully choosing some real gems from the cornetist's heyday, Pearl's Ace of Rhythm is an excellent compromise between the exactitude of the Classics compilation and the thoroughness of EPM's ultra-complete edition.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/19/1998
  • Label: Pearl
  • UPC: 727031107224
  • Catalog Number: 1072

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 What Can a Poor Fellow Do? (3:11)
  2. 2 Black and Tan Fantasy (3:27)
  3. 3 Willow Tree - Louisiana Sugar Babes (3:27)
  4. 4 'Sippi - Louisiana Sugar Babes (3:14)
  5. 5 Thou Swell - Louisiana Sugar Babes (3:04)
  6. 6 Got Butter on It - Banjo Ikey Robinson (3:12)
  7. 7 Ready Hokum - Banjo Ikey Robinson (3:03)
  8. 8 Jazz Battle (2:27)
  9. 9 Little Willie Blues (3:22)
  10. 10 Sleepy Time Blues (3:22)
  11. 11 Sweet and Low Blues (3:13)
  12. 12 Take Me to the River (2:54)
  13. 13 Ace of Rhythms (2:51)
  14. 14 Let's Get Together (2:24)
  15. 15 Sau Sha Stomp (3:01)
  16. 16 Michigander Blues (3:12)
  17. 17 Decatur Street Tutti (2:39)
  18. 18 Till Times Get Better (2:58)
  19. 19 Croonin' the Blues (3:14)
  20. 20 Boston Skuffle (2:53)
  21. 21 Tanguay Blues (2:50)
  22. 22 Moanful Blues (3:05)
  23. 23 Band Box Stomp (3:01)
  24. 24 Rub Me Some More - Lloyd Smith's Gut-Bucketeers (2:58)
  25. 25 Rhythm in Spain (2:47)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jabbo Smith Primary Artist, Trumpet
James P. Johnson Piano
Fats Waller Organ
Louis Metcalf Trumpet
Cass Simpson Piano
Wellman Braud Bass
Sonny Greer Drums
Hayes Alvis Bass
Walter Bishop Sr. Drums
Lawson Buford Bass
Garvin Bushell Clarinet, Bassoon, Alto Saxophone
Harry Carney Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
Duke Ellington Piano
Fred Guy Banjo
Rudy Jackson Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Joe "Tricky Sam" Nanton Trombone
Omer Simeon Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Sam Simmons Tenor Saxophone
Ben Smith Alto Saxophone
Alfred Taylor Drums
Connie Wainwright Guitar
Elmer James Bass
Leslie Johnakins Alto Saxophone
Banjo Ikey Robinson Banjo, Guitar
Duke Ellington & His Orchestra Track Performer
Otto Hardwick Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone
Willard Brown Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
Louisiana Sugar Babes Track Performer
William Barbee Piano
James Reynolds Piano
Technical Credits
Colin Brown Producer
Tony Watts Liner Notes
Richard Myers Composer
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