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All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
For more than 40 years a certain banjoist, guitarist, producer, bandleader, and hard-boiled wise guy named Eddie Condon played a crucial role in the development, recording, and public presentation of authentic "Chicago-style" traditional jazz. This excellent chronologically stacked sampler opens with four tracks recorded at two scruffy little sessions that took place in Chicago during 1927 and 1928. The list of participants reads like a who's who of early Midwestern New Orleans-inspired jazz: cornetists Jimmy McPartland and Muggsy Spanier; reedmen Frank Teschemacher, Bud Freeman, and Mezz Mezzrow (on cymbals and tenor sax); vocalist Red McKenzie; Condon's favorite local ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
For more than 40 years a certain banjoist, guitarist, producer, bandleader, and hard-boiled wise guy named Eddie Condon played a crucial role in the development, recording, and public presentation of authentic "Chicago-style" traditional jazz. This excellent chronologically stacked sampler opens with four tracks recorded at two scruffy little sessions that took place in Chicago during 1927 and 1928. The list of participants reads like a who's who of early Midwestern New Orleans-inspired jazz: cornetists Jimmy McPartland and Muggsy Spanier; reedmen Frank Teschemacher, Bud Freeman, and Mezz Mezzrow (on cymbals and tenor sax); vocalist Red McKenzie; Condon's favorite local pianist, Joe Sullivan; and a little sh*t-kicker named Gene Krupa behind the drums. The issue of singers was always a touchy subject for Condon, who later sometimes referred to less than wonderful vocal passages as "interruptions." After arriving in New York City in the summer of 1928, Condon dared to use his own voice on "Oh Baby" and "Indiana" (a feat for which he would spend the rest of his life apologizing). On February 8, 1929, Eddie Condon's Hot Shots featured singing trombonist Jack Teagarden and tenor saxophonist Happy Caldwell (Mezz Mezzrow was now confined to a C melody saxophone). In his funny, insightful, and informative memoir We Called It Music, Condon describes in harrowing detail how he barely managed to assemble Fats Waller and three of Harlem's toughest players (reedman Arville Harris, trumpeter Charlie Gains, and trombone wizard Charlie Irvis) for a recording session on March 1, 1929, without any rehearsal or substantial preparations whatsoever. Despite pressure from the stuffed suits who ran the record company and haphazard circumstances exacerbated by a seemingly endless supply of gin, this little quintet ground out -- in single takes -- "Minor Drag" and "Harlem Fuss," two of the best hot jazz performances ever caught on record. The 1920s seem to culminate with a bang on three tracks recorded by shrill vocalist Billy Banks & His Rhythmakers in April and May of 1932. Noteworthy participants on this session were trumpeter Henry "Red" Allen, clarinetist Pee Wee Russell, and drummer Zutty Singleton. Beginning with "Madame Dynamite" and "Home Cooking" recorded in 1933 (note the presence of pianist and composer Alex Hill!), the Eddie Condon story enters a more or less mature phase as fully evolved traditionally anchored swing takes over. For the rest of the decade "the Condon Mob" now included, in addition to most of the artists already mentioned, trumpeters Max Kaminsky and Marty Marsala; cornetist Bobby Hackett; trombonists Georg Brunis, Floyd O'Brien, and valve trombonist Brad Gowans; clarinetist Joe Marsala; his wife, jazz harpist Adele Girard; and pianists Jess Stacy and Joe Bushkin. All of the gutsy, satisfying records made between 1937 and 1940 (tracks 16-25) originally appeared on the Commodore label. This outstanding compilation runs out of room before the chronology can get to Condon's last collaboration with Fats Waller, a sort of reunion for the two men that took place in New York's Liederkranz Hall, the very same place where they made those amazing recordings back in 1929.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/23/1996
  • Label: Asv Living Era
  • UPC: 743625519228
  • Catalog Number: 5192

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Eddie Condon Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Banjo, Guitar, Vocals
Bud Freeman Tenor Saxophone
Bobby Hackett Cornet
Max Kaminsky Trumpet
Gene Krupa Drums
Pee Wee Russell Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Muggsy Spanier Cornet
Jack Teagarden Trombone, Vocals
Fats Waller Piano
Danny Alvin Drums
Georg Brunis Trombone
Joe Bushkin Piano
Brad Gowans Trombone
Joe Marsala Clarinet
Jimmy McPartland Cornet
Miff Mole Trombone
Zutty Singleton Drums
Joe Sullivan Piano
Frank Teschemacher Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
George Wettling Drums
Red McKenzie Vocals
Billy Banks Vocals
Artie Bernstein Bass
Jack Bland Guitar
Dave Bowman Piano
Happy Caldwell Tenor Saxophone
Big Sid Catlett Drums
Leonard Davis Trumpet
Arville Harris Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Charlie Irvis Trombone
Jim Lanigan Bass, Tuba
Mezz Mezzrow C-Melody Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Al Morgan Bass
Clyde Newcombe Bass
Floyd O'Brien Trombone
Artie Shapiro Bass
Jess Stacy Piano
George Stafford Drums
Adele Girard Harp
Ray Biondi Violin
Marty Marsala Trumpet
Charlie Gaines Trumpet
Alex Hill Piano
Red Allen Trumpet
Technical Credits
Eddie Condon Composer
Bud Freeman Composer
Jelly Roll Morton Composer
Jack Teagarden Composer
Joe Sullivan Composer
Mezz Mezzrow Composer
Clarence Williams Composer
Spencer Williams Composer
Vic Bellerby Liner Notes
Owen Murphy Composer
Benjamin Franklin Spikes Composer
John Spikes Composer
Jesse Stafford Composer
James Henry Burris Composer
Herb Wiedoeft Composer
Chris Smith Composer
W. Benton Overstreet Composer
Billy Rose Composer
Billy Higgins Composer
Jack Teagarden & His Orchestra Composer
Green Composer
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