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Swinging Down the Lane [Memphis Archives]
     

Swinging Down the Lane [Memphis Archives]

by Isham Jones
 
At its best, the Isham Jones Orchestra was capable of playing real jazz. The strongest and hottest instrumental tracks woven into this Memphis Archives compilation emanate a substantiality approaching that of early Fletcher Henderson or very early Duke Ellington. "Farewell Blues" and

Overview

At its best, the Isham Jones Orchestra was capable of playing real jazz. The strongest and hottest instrumental tracks woven into this Memphis Archives compilation emanate a substantiality approaching that of early Fletcher Henderson or very early Duke Ellington. "Farewell Blues" and "Memphis Blues," recorded in January 1923, swing a little on the strength of the melodies. Even "I'm Sitting on Top of the World" (not to be confused with the blues tune by Howlin' Wolf) cooks with inspired precision. "It's the Blues" and "Three Thirty Blues" are among the best recordings this band ever made. Most satisfying was the expressive cornet playing of Louis Panico, an element that was missing after September 1924. Panico's contribution to this band was roughly comparable to what Louis Metcalf, Arthur Whetsol, and Bubber Miley accomplished on some of Ellington's earliest recordings. Another aspect of Isham Jones is also documented here: it was essentially that of a pit orchestra accustomed to backing up pop vocalists and vaudeville entertainers. Bearing in mind the fact that this orchestra worked regularly with Al Jolson, the selections featuring singers -- particularly Billy Jones and Ernest Hare, usually billed as the Happiness Boys -- illustrate this important function most effectively. Even quite a number of the instrumental performances are noticeably reined in by shuffle rhythms that hardly manage to break free of the vaudevillian pop mode. This might explain why many jazz historians have concentrated on Isham Jones the composer of great melodies destined to become jazz standards rather than on Isham Jones the leader of an all-purpose popular dance band that periodically incorporated real jazz into its performing itinerary.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/21/1995
Label:
Memphis Archives
UPC:
0781371701429
catalogNumber:
7014

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Isham Jones   Primary Artist,Conductor,Leader,Tenor Saxophone
Joe Miller   Banjo
Bud Graham   Trombone
Isham Jones & His Orchestra   Track Performer
Frankie Quartell   Trumpet
Victor Young   Violin
Roy Bargy   Piano
Joe Frank   Drums
Billy Jones   Vocals
Ernest Hare   Vocals
Guy Carey   Trombone
Frank Sylvano   Vocals
Mauling   Clarinet
Artie Vanasec   Soprano Saxophone
Charles McNeill   Banjo
Louis Panico   Cornet
Carroll Martin   Trombone
Leo Murphy   Violin

Technical Credits

W.C. Handy   Composer
Rich Caughron   Engineer
Leanne Ellis   Art Direction
Richard Hite   Producer
Isham Jones   Composer
Gus Kahn   Composer
Eddie Dattel   Executive Producer
George Norton   Composer
Pierre Olker   Brass Band
James Parten   Liner Notes
John Kuhn   Brass Band

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