Prewar Vocal Jazz Story: 1923-1945

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
This excellent double CD of jazz and blues vocals recorded between 1923 and 1945 has been presented in English as The Prewar Vocal Jazz Story. This phrase was derived from the secondary title printed in French across the cover. The main title, which could be translated as "The Golden Era of Vocal Jazz," would be more accurate, as Avant-Guerre refers in this case to the time period preceding the Second World War. Seeing as this conflict began in September of 1939 and the U.S. entered the fray in late 1941, "Prewar" was an unfortunate choice of terminology for a collection that extends well into 1945, the year the war ended. Thank goodness this discrepancy has little to do ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
This excellent double CD of jazz and blues vocals recorded between 1923 and 1945 has been presented in English as The Prewar Vocal Jazz Story. This phrase was derived from the secondary title printed in French across the cover. The main title, which could be translated as "The Golden Era of Vocal Jazz," would be more accurate, as Avant-Guerre refers in this case to the time period preceding the Second World War. Seeing as this conflict began in September of 1939 and the U.S. entered the fray in late 1941, "Prewar" was an unfortunate choice of terminology for a collection that extends well into 1945, the year the war ended. Thank goodness this discrepancy has little to do with the actual music contained in this carefully presented anthology. Laid out in exacting chronological order, the selections trace a year-by-year trajectory spanning nearly two and a half decades. Meticulous observers will note that two years -- 1924 and 1941 -- are left out of the loop, while 1939 and 1945 are heavily represented. More importantly there are a handful of singers who probably should have been included but weren't. Frankie "Half-Pint" Jaxon and Josephine Baker belong in this set, as do Henry "Red" Allen and the lovely Evelyn Preer. Nevertheless, the vocalists who do appear are well chosen to represent the evolution of jazz and blues singing during this time period. The balance of the 1920s are roundly represented by a campy Ethel Waters, a rock-solid Bessie Smith, a robust Eva Taylor, a frantic Jelly Roll Morton, and the exquisite Adelaide Hall. Rather than singing, Ivy Smith cajoles and shouts at pianist Cow Cow Davenport on a smoky stomp recorded in 1928. Louis Armstrong's powerful rendition of the "St. Louis Blues" is this compilation's only example from the tumultuous year 1929. The next decade opens pleasantly as banjoist Will Johnson is heard singing with Red Allen's Orchestra and the Boswell Sisters merrily emulate Armstrong's 1926 recording of Boyd Atkins' "Heebie Jeebies." Other highlights from the 1930s are Steve Washington with the Washboard Rhythm Kings, the Spirits of Rhythm with Leo "Scat" Watson, the majestic persona of Billie Holiday, the organic wonderment of Joe Turner, and a yodeling, fiddling Stuff Smith. The effervescent "Dream Man" is definitely one of the best records ever created by Fats Waller & His Rhythm. The lyrics to "Utt-Da-Zay" imply that the phrase is of unknown origin, but it obviously comes from Yiddish. Strangely enough, this is the only song that is performed twice, first by a rather square-sounding group called the Quintones backed by Barney Bigard & His Jazzopators and then in a darker, more dramatic manner by Cab Calloway. The transition into the 1940s -- and wartime -- is represented by tougher, hipper singers: Slim Gaillard, Roy Eldridge, Hot Lips Page, and bassist Wilson Myers, who revisits an old Butterbeans & Susie routine in the company of Sidney Bechet. The collection culminates with some of the greatest vocalists of 1945, artists who would profoundly affect popular music for years to come: Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Louis Jordan, and Nat King Cole. Here then is a terrific core sample of landmark recordings. While a certain amount of pleasant crooning occurs here and there, the dominant vibe is strongly steeped, hot, and swinging.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/4/2002
  • Label: Best Of Jazz
  • EAN: 3307517002228
  • Catalog Number: 22


Disc 1
  1. 1 Ethel Sings 'Em - Ethel Waters (3:20)
  2. 2 Jail House Blues (3:15)
  3. 3 Cake Walking Babies from Home - Eva Taylor (3:02)
  4. 4 Doctor Jazz - Jelly Roll Morton (3:27)
  5. 5 Creole Love Call - Adelaide Hall (3:14)
  6. 6 State Street Jive (3:03)
  7. 7 Diga Diga Doo - Ozie Ware (2:55)
  8. 8 St. Louis Blues - Louis Armstrong (3:03)
  9. 9 You Might Get Better, But You'll Never Get Well (3:06)
  10. 10 Heebie Jeebies (2:54)
  11. 11 Shakin' the African - Don Redman (2:51)
  12. 12 I Wanna Count Sheep (Till the Cows Come Home) (3:03)
  13. 13 I'm Gonna Play Down by the Ohio (3:34)
  14. 14 Rude Interlude (3:12)
  15. 15 Rhythm - Spirits of Rhythm (2:29)
  16. 16 Dream Man - Fats Waller (3:00)
  17. 17 Nobody's Sweetheart - Jack Teagarden (2:37)
  18. 18 Old Joe's Hittin' the Jug - Stuff Smith (2:45)
  19. 19 I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm - Mildred Bailey (2:55)
  20. 20 Where the Lazy River Goes By (2:34)
  21. 21 Darling Nelly Gray - Louis Armstrong (2:44)
  22. 22 All God's Chillun Got Rhythm - Ivie Anderson (2:27)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Don't You Miss Your Baby? - Jimmy Rushing (3:09)
  2. 2 A-Tisket, A-Tasket - Ella Fitzgerald (2:39)
  3. 3 Roll 'Em, Pete (2:51)
  4. 4 Cheatin' on Me (2:48)
  5. 5 You Set Me on Fire - Dan Grissom (2:40)
  6. 6 Sweethearts on Parade - Lionel Hampton (3:00)
  7. 7 Fine and Mellow - Billie Holiday (3:11)
  8. 8 Utt-Da-Zay - Quintones (2:51)
  9. 9 Utt-Da-Zay - Cab Calloway (2:57)
  10. 10 Chicken Rhythm - Slim Gaillard (2:55)
  11. 11 Preachin' Blues - Wilson Myers (3:04)
  12. 12 Just Another Woman - Hot Lips Page (2:56)
  13. 13 Flamingo - Herb Jeffries (3:26)
  14. 14 Knock Me a Kiss - Roy Eldridge (3:02)
  15. 15 Straighten up and Fly Right - Nat King Cole (2:27)
  16. 16 Red Blues - Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson (3:12)
  17. 17 My Heart Sings - Joya Sherrill (2:54)
  18. 18 Lover Man - Sarah Vaughan (3:22)
  19. 19 Caldonia Boogie - Louis Jordan (2:43)
  20. 20 You Must Be Blind (3:23)
  21. 21 Rich Man's Blues - Dinah Washington (2:55)
  22. 22 Jivin' Joe Jackson - Ann Moore (2:19)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Grande Epoque du Jazz Vocal Primary Artist
Cow Cow Davenport Piano
Bessie Smith Track Performer
Big Joe Turner Track Performer
The Boswell Sisters Track Performer
The Mills Brothers Track Performer
Henry "Red" Allen Trumpet
Cat Anderson Trumpet
Mildred Bailey Vocals
Paul Barbarin Drums, Vibes
Count Basie Piano
Chu Berry Tenor Saxophone
Cab Calloway Track Performer
Buck Clayton Trumpet
Bill Coleman Trumpet
Harry "Sweets" Edison Trumpet
Ella Fitzgerald Vocals
Dizzy Gillespie Trumpet
Freddie Green Guitar
Al Haig Piano
Lionel Hampton Vocals, Vibes
Johnny Hodges Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone
Milt Jackson Vibes
Pete Johnson Piano, Accompaniment
Jo Jones Drums
Jonah Jones Trumpet
Louis Jordan Track Performer
Gene Krupa Drums
Charles Mingus Bass
Jelly Roll Morton Piano, Vocals
Ray Nance Trumpet
Albert Nicholas Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Red Norvo Xylophone
Kid Ory Trombone
Bud Powell Piano
Jimmy Rushing Track Performer
Al Sears Tenor Saxophone
Tab Smith Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone
Willie Smith Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone
Rex Stewart Trumpet
Buddy Tate Tenor Saxophone
Jack Teagarden Trombone, Vocals
Lucky Thompson Tenor Saxophone
Fats Waller Piano, Vocals
Dinah Washington Track Performer
Ethel Waters Track Performer
Ben Webster Tenor Saxophone
Cootie Williams Trumpet
Luis Russell Piano
Lester Young Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Dave Barbour Guitar
Lawrence Brown Trombone
Cozy Cole Drums
Hank D'Amico Clarinet
Adelaide Hall Vocals
Horace Henderson Piano
Herb Jeffries Vocals
Taft Jordan Trumpet
Irving Mills Track Performer
Oscar Moore Guitar
Benny Morton Trombone
Sy Oliver Alto, Trumpet
Frankie Newton Trumpet
Edgar Sampson Alto Saxophone
Joya Sherrill Track Performer
Zutty Singleton Drums
Frankie Trumbauer Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Chick Webb Drums
Don Redman Alto Saxophone, Vocals
Preston Love Alto Saxophone
Coleman Hawkins Tenor Saxophone
Slim Gaillard Guitar, Vocals
Russell Procope Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Johnny St. Cyr Banjo
John Mills Sr. Guitar
Bubber Miley Trumpet
Ivie Anderson Track Performer
Teddy Bunn Guitar
Trummy Young Track Performer
Wellman Braud Bass Saxophone
Sonny Greer Drums
Walter Page Bass Saxophone
Moses Allen Bass Saxophone
Louis Armstrong Cornet
William Austin Piano
Louis Bacon Trumpet, Vocals
Wilbert Barranco Piano
Mario Bauzá Trumpet
Sidney Bechet Soprano Saxophone
Barney Bigard Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Billie Holiday Vocals
Russell Bowles Trombone
Edward Burke Trombone
Garvin Bushell Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Wayman Carver Tenor Saxophone
Harry Carney Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone
Earl Caruthers Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone
Big Sid Catlett Drums
Doc Cheatham Trumpet
Buddy Christian Banjo
Kenny Clarke Drums
Nat King Cole Track Performer
Rupert Cole Alto Saxophone
John Collins Guitar
Elmer Crumbley Trombone
Douglas Daniels Vocals
Wilbur Daniels Vocals
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis Tenor Saxophone
Leonard Davis Trumpet
Eddie de Verteuill Baritone
Ted Donnelly Trombone
George Dorsey Alto Saxophone
Eddie Dougherty Drums
Duke Ellington Orchestra Vocals
Eddie Durham Trombone
Herschel Evans Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Fletcher Henderson Piano
Pops Foster Bass Saxophone
Tommy Fulford Piano
Karl George Trumpet
Larry Gomar Drums, Vibes
Leonard Graham Trumpet
Jewell L. Grant Alto Saxophone
Dan Grissom Track Performer
Fred Guy Banjo, Guitar
Jimmy Hamilton Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Clyde Hart Piano
Herbie Haymer Tenor Saxophone
Shelton Hemphill Trumpet
J.C. Higginbotham Trombone
Andrew Hilaire Drums
Ernest "Bass" Hill Double Bass
Teddy Hill Tenor Saxophone
Milt Hinton Tenor Saxophone
Clarence Holiday Guitar
Charlie Holmes Alto Saxophone
Robert Horton Trombone
Bill Hyland Trumpet
Edward Inge Alto Saxophone
Charlie Irvis Trombone
Freddie Jenkins Trumpet
J.J. Johnson Trombone
J.C. Johnson Piano, Accompaniment
Keg Johnson Trombone
Manzie Johnson Drums, Vibes
Otis Johnson Trumpet
Walter Johnson Drums
Claude Jones Trombone
Norman Keenan Bass
Ellis Larkins Bass, Guitar, Piano
Harlan Lattimore Vocals
John Lindsay Bass Saxophone
Mickey Mangano Trumpet
George Matthews Trombone
Teddy McRae Tenor Saxophone
Wilson Myers Track Performer
Johnny Miller Bass
Donald Mills Tenor (Vocal)
Harry Mills Baritone
Herbert Mills Tenor (Vocal)
Dan Minor Trombone
Ann Moore Vocals
Al Morgan Bass
Sam Musiker Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Al Norris Guitar
Hot Lips Page Mellophonium, Vocals
Charles "Truck" Parham Bass Saxophone
Charlie Parker Alto Saxophone
Beverly Peer Bass Saxophone
Hubert Pettaway Drums
Gene Porter Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Bass Saxophone
Bill Rank Trombone
Allan Reuss Guitar
Eli Robinson Trombone
Rudy Rutherford Clarinet, Bass Saxophone
Sarah Vaughan Track Performer
Eddie Sauter Alto, Tumba
Gene Sedric Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Omer Simeon Clarinet
Stuff Smith Violin, Vocals
Ben Smith Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
H. Smith Washboard
Nat Story Trombone
Billy Strayhorn Piano
Eva Taylor Vocals
Walter Thomas Tenor Saxophone
Juan Tizol Trombone, Vocals
Eddie Tompkins Trumpet
Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson Alto Saxophone, Vocals
Carl Wade Tenor Saxophone
Eddie Wade Trumpet
Earle Warren Alto Saxophone
Jack Washington Alto Saxophone, Baritone
Leo Watson Vocals
Paul Webster Trumpet
Dicky Wells Trombone
De Priest Wheeler Trombone
Arthur Whetsol Trumpet
Morris White Guitar
Sonny White Piano
Edwin Wilcox Piano
Clarence Williams Piano
Shadow Wilson Drums
Lammar Wright Sr. Trumpet
Snooky Young Trumpet
Bob Ysaguirre Baritone Saxophone, Double Bass
Harry Dial Drums, Vibes
Kenneth Hollon Tenor Saxophone
Ruby Jackson Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Wallace Jones Trumpet
Alex "Razz" Mitchell Drums
Lee Pope Tenor Saxophone
Virgil Scroggins Vocals
Dave Young Tenor Saxophone
Roy Bargy Piano
Edward Mihelich Bass
Lee Young Drums
Al Beck Trumpet
Ray Biondi Guitar
Don Brassfield Tenor Saxophone
Teddy Cole Piano
Ramona Davies Piano
Joe Eldridge Alto Saxophone
Jack Fulton Trombone
Harry Goldfield Trumpet
John Grassi Trombone
Will Johnson Guitar
Rex Kittig Alto Saxophone
Joe Liss Piano
Al Mastren Trombone
Jimmy Migliore Alto Saxophone
Art Miller Bass Saxophone
Norman Murphy Trumpet
Mike Pingatore Banjo, Guitar
Stew Pletcher Trumpet
Fred Robinson Trombone
Jimmy Sherman Piano
Joe Springer Piano
George Stevenson Trombone
George Treadwell Trumpet
Mack Walker Bass Saxophone
Sandy Williams Clarinet, Trombone, Alto Saxophone
Andrew Brown Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Norman McPherson Double Bass
John Williams Bass Saxophone
Ivy Smith Track Performer
Spirits of Rhythm Track Performer
Hillard Brown Drums
Jimmy McLin Guitar
Bobby Bennett Guitar
Stanley Payne Tenor Saxophone
Rodney Richardson Bass
Bobby Stark Trumpet
Ed Lewis Trumpet
Otto Hardwick Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Baritone
Joe Thomas Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
George "Scoops" Carry Alto Saxophone
Herman Flintall Alto Saxophone
Irving Johns Piano, Accompaniment
Sylvester Payne Drums
Casper Reardon Harp
James "Trummy" Young Trombone, Vocals
Ida James Track Performer
George Mitchell Cornemeuse
Bobby Hicks Trumpet
Chauncey Houghton Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Ozie Ware Vocals
Freddie Simon Tenor Saxophone
Bobby Johnson Guitar
Billy Taylor Bass Saxophone
Roy Elridge Track Performer
Ted Buckner Alto Saxophone
Albert Casey Guitar
Robert Carroll Tenor Saxophone
Cyril Newman Trumpet
Steve Washington Banjo, Vocals
Pete Peterson Bass Saxophone
Joseph Nanton Trombone
Quintones Track Performer
Technical Credits
Cow Cow Davenport Composer
Bessie Smith Composer
Big Joe Turner Composer
Irving Berlin Composer
Count Basie Composer, Director
Leonard Feather Composer
Ella Fitzgerald Composer
Pete Johnson Composer
Mundell Lowe Composer
Jimmie Lunceford Director
Ethel Waters Composer
Paul Whiteman Director
Luis Russell Composer
Bob Haggart Composer
Irving Mills Composer
Chick Webb Director
W.C. Handy Composer
Jimmy McHugh Composer
Van Alexander Composer
Harold Arlen Composer
Harold Rome Composer
Buck Ram Composer
Slim Gaillard Composer
Bronislaw Kaper Composer
Bubber Miley Composer
Milton Ager Composer
Edmund Anderson Composer
Boyd Atkins Composer
Sidney Bechet Composer
Billie Holiday Composer
Nat King Cole Composer
Duke Ellington Orchestra Arranger, Composer
Dorothy Fields Composer
Fletcher Henderson Arranger
Ted Grouya Composer
Mike Jackson Composer
Rudy Jackson Composer
Gus Kahn Composer
Elmer Schoebel Composer
Clarence Williams Composer
Jack Yellen Composer
Martha Boswell Composer
Billy Meyers Composer
J. Palmer Composer
Carmen Lombardo Composer
Joe Young Composer
Ted Koehler Composer
Harold Adamson Composer
Fleecie Moore Composer
Lew Pollack Composer
Harry Stride Composer
Henry Troy Composer
Ernie Erdman Composer
Charles Newman Composer
Chris Smith Composer
Walter Jurmann Composer
Jimmy Davis Composer
Henri Herpin Composer
Santana Raminez Composer
Benjamin R. Hanby Composer
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