Harlem Big Bands

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
OK, try and ignore the weird cartoon album cover, and focus on the musical contents of Harlem Big Bands, a 24-track compilation released by the Timeless label in 1998. Rather than trundling out the usual spread of oft-reissued recordings by well-known ensembles, the producers of this package chose to zero in on five bands that rarely receive the kind of recognition they deserve. That even goes for Charlie Johnson's Paradise Orchestra, which according to Billie Holiday, was a highly regarded band in its day, before being eclipsed by Duke Ellington's Cotton Club Orchestra. What you get here are all of the master takes from each of Johnson's recording dates, first for ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
OK, try and ignore the weird cartoon album cover, and focus on the musical contents of Harlem Big Bands, a 24-track compilation released by the Timeless label in 1998. Rather than trundling out the usual spread of oft-reissued recordings by well-known ensembles, the producers of this package chose to zero in on five bands that rarely receive the kind of recognition they deserve. That even goes for Charlie Johnson's Paradise Orchestra, which according to Billie Holiday, was a highly regarded band in its day, before being eclipsed by Duke Ellington's Cotton Club Orchestra. What you get here are all of the master takes from each of Johnson's recording dates, first for Emerson in February 1925 and then for Victor at four different sessions in 1927, 1928, and 1929. At various points, Johnson's ensemble had Jabbo Smith, Tom Morris, and Sidney De Paris in the trumpet section, as well as trombonists Charlie Irvis and Jimmy Hamilton, and reedmen Benny Carter and Edgar Sampson. The vocalist heard on some of Johnson's records was Monette Moore, who hailed from Gainesville, TX. Tracks 12-19 were waxed for Victor in 1927 and 1929 by two different bands under the leadership of the brothers Scott, who began their careers in their hometown of Springfield, OH. Cecil Scott, who called his group the Bright Boys, was proficient on multiple reed instruments, and Lloyd Scott was a drummer. The common denominator in the Scott-led bands was Tennessean trombonist Dicky Wells; other noteworthy participants were trumpeters Bill Coleman and Frank Newton. Tracks 20-23 were recorded for Victor in August 1931 by an 11-piece orchestra led by Panamanian pianist Luis Russell. This ensemble, which served as Louis Armstrong's backing band, featured in addition to Wells, who was destined to achieve lasting fame as a member of the Count Basie Orchestra numerous natives of New Orleans, including trumpeter Henry Red Allen, clarinetist Albert Nicholas, bassist Pops Foster, and drummer Paul Barbarin. The vocal on "You Rascal You" is by Red Allen; the pop singer on "Goin' to Town" and "Say the Word" is Chick Bullock. This highly rewarding album of vintage Harlem jazz closes with a rare 1927 Gennett recording by Andy Preer & the Cotton Club Orchestra. Not to be confused with Duke Ellington's similarly named ensemble, Preer's group which was also billed on Kildare records as the Harlequinaders included trumpeter Lammar Wright who had played cornet with Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra in 1926; trombonist De Priest Wheeler, and saxophonist Walter Thomas. By 1930, all three of these men would be working in a band initially known as the Missourians and subsequently yoked into service as the Cab Calloway Orchestra.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/11/1998
  • Label: Timeless Holland
  • EAN: 8711458201032
  • Catalog Number: 10

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Don't Forget You'll Regret Day by Day - Charlie Johnson's Paradise Band (2:33)
  2. 2 Meddlin' With the Blues - Charlie Johnson's Paradise Band (2:57)
  3. 3 Paradise Wobble - Charlie Johnson (3:15)
  4. 4 Birmingham Black Bottom - Charlie Johnson (3:01)
  5. 5 Don't You Leave Me Here - Charlie Johnson (3:40)
  6. 6 You Ain't the One - Charlie Johnson (3:27)
  7. 7 Charleston Is the Best Dance After All - Charlie Johnson (2:50)
  8. 8 Hot-Tempered Blues - Charlie Johnson (3:25)
  9. 9 The Boy in the Boat (The Rock) - Charlie Johnson & His Paradise Band (3:46)
  10. 10 Walk That Thing - Charlie Johnson & His Paradise Band (3:31)
  11. 11 Harlem Drag - Charlie Johnson & His Orchestra (3:16)
  12. 12 Hot Bones and Rice - Charlie Johnson & His Orchestra (3:24)
  13. 13 Harlem Shuffle - Lloyd Scott & His Orchestra (3:09)
  14. 14 Symphonic Scronch (Symphonic Screach) - Lloyd Scott & His Orchestra (2:58)
  15. 15 Happy Hour Blues - Lloyd Scott & His Orchestra (2:46)
  16. 16 Lawd, Lawd - Cecil Scott (3:13)
  17. 17 In a Corner - Cecil Scott (3:00)
  18. 18 Bright Boy Blues - Cecil Scott (3:12)
  19. 19 Springfield Stomp - Cecil Scott (3:12)
  20. 20 You Rascal You - Luis Russell & His Orchestra (3:10)
  21. 21 Goin' to Town - Luis Russell & His Orchestra (2:58)
  22. 22 Say the Word - Luis Russell & His Orchestra (3:10)
  23. 23 Freakish Blues - Luis Russell & His Orchestra (3:34)
  24. 24 I Found a New Baby - Andy Preer & the Cotton Club Orchestra (3:06)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Henry "Red" Allen Trumpet, Vocals
Paul Barbarin Drums, Vibes
Bill Coleman Trumpet
Sidney DeParis Trumpet
Albert Nicholas Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Luis Russell Piano
Jabbo Smith Cornet
Charlie Johnson Piano
Frankie Newton Trumpet, Vocals
Edgar Sampson Clarinet, Violin, Alto Saxophone
Gus Aiken Trumpet
Fletcher Allen Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Benny Carter Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone
Leonard Davis Trumpet, Cornet
R.Q. Dickerson Trumpet
Pops Foster Bass
Don Frye Piano
Jimmy Harrison Trombone
Charlie Irvis Trombone
Leroy Maxey Drums
Monette Moore Vocals
Earres Prince Piano
Kenneth Roane Trumpet
Cecil Scott Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone
George Scott Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Jimmy Smith Double Bass
Cyrus St. Clair Double Bass
George Stafford Drums
Greely Walton Tenor Saxophone
Benny Waters Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Dicky Wells Trombone
De Priest Wheeler Trombone
Lammar Wright Sr. Trumpet
Chick Bullock Vocals
Will Johnson Guitar
George Stevenson Trombone
Mack Walker Double Bass
Andrew Brown Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Davey Jones Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Charlie Johnson's Paradise Band Track Performer
Luis Russell & His Orchestra Track Performer
John Williams Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Billy Taylor Sr. Double Bass
Hubert Mann Banjo
Lloyd Scott Drums
Robert Cheek Trumpet
Alec Alexander Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Charlie Johnson & His Orchestra Track Performer
Charlie Johnson & His Paradise Band Track Performer
Andy Preer & the Cotton Club Orchestra Track Performer
Bobby Johnson Banjo
Ben Whittet Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Elmer Harrell Clarinet, Violin, Tenor Saxophone
The Cotton Club Orchestra Track Performer
Tom Morris Cornet
Chester Campbell Double Bass
Gus McClung Trumpet
Charley Stamps Banjo
Henry Jones Alto Saxophone
Technical Credits
Chris Barber Executive Producer
Luis Russell Director
Charlie Johnson Director
Benny Carter Arranger
Chris Ellis Original Material
Don Frye Arranger
Richard Hadlock Liner Notes
Kenneth Roane Arranger
Benny Waters Arranger, Composer
Wim Wigt Executive Producer
Brian Rust Original Material
John R.T. Davies Original Material
Lloyd Scott Director
Andy Preer Director
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