The Alternative Takes: 1930-44

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
For the life of him, Cab Calloway could never understand why anybody would want to buy an instrumental record by the Cab Calloway Orchestra. After all, he was the star. He was the one who everybody paid good money to hear. Who cared about Chu Berry, Walter "Foots" Thomas, Ben Webster, Ike Quebec, Doc Cheatham, Dizzy Gillespie, or Jonah Jones? Cab was the star. For this reason, any Calloway recording without a vocal automatically holds a special place in the hearts of classic jazz lovers worldwide. Eight of the 25 tracks on this album are instrumentals. While that might not seem like an awful lot, it is a noticeably higher percentage than what is found on many other ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
For the life of him, Cab Calloway could never understand why anybody would want to buy an instrumental record by the Cab Calloway Orchestra. After all, he was the star. He was the one who everybody paid good money to hear. Who cared about Chu Berry, Walter "Foots" Thomas, Ben Webster, Ike Quebec, Doc Cheatham, Dizzy Gillespie, or Jonah Jones? Cab was the star. For this reason, any Calloway recording without a vocal automatically holds a special place in the hearts of classic jazz lovers worldwide. Eight of the 25 tracks on this album are instrumentals. While that might not seem like an awful lot, it is a noticeably higher percentage than what is found on many other Calloway retrospectives. Whether they were alternate takes or sides that were originally left unissued probably because there was no vocal!, this disc contains a small gold mine because of wordless performances like "Pluckin' the Bass" -- that great feature for young Milt Hinton -- and Hilton Jefferson's alto saxophone outing "Lonesome Nights." Benny Carter did a bit of arranging for this band, and left his persona etched into the titles "Calling All Bars" and "The Lone Arranger." A hot new mode of jamming becomes apparent in 1941 with "Special Delivery" and has completely transformed the entire band by 1944's "Cruisin' With Cab," heard here on a rare V-Disc pressing. All of this is not meant to deflate Calloway's importance and splendor as a flashy vocalist. This album follows the evolution of his voice and the bands that backed it up, from their modest beginnings in 1930 through 14 years of stylistic transformation. Aside from those obligatory hits "Minnie the Moocher" and "The Scat Song," the listener must endure a disturbingly offhand series of references to delirium tremens and dipsomania in "Jitter Bug," a song urging everyone to mix all their liquors together into one noxious, pernicious potion. Probably seemed like a good idea at the time. The trajectory of gradual musical modernization culminates with Cab's mature hip vocalizing style, best typified by "A Chicken Ain't Nothin' But a Bird." The strangest surprise of the entire package involves the inclusion of three V-Discs recorded in 1943. Lena Horne is heard in front of a twisted mutant version of the Calloway orchestra augmented by a Hollywood string section. She sings two sugar pop tunes and one fizzy arrangement of "Diga Diga Doo." Blindfolded, most listeners would not ever have been able to guess that the band behind Horne had anything whatsoever to do with Cab Calloway or the many outstanding musicians who worked with him over the years.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/23/2003
  • Label: Neatwork
  • EAN: 9120006940658
  • Catalog Number: 2065

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Cab Calloway Primary Artist, Vocals
Danny Barker Guitar
Chu Berry Tenor Saxophone
Dizzy Gillespie Trumpet
Lena Horne Vocals
Illinois Jacquet Tenor Saxophone
Jonah Jones Trumpet
Ike Quebec Tenor Saxophone
Cozy Cole Drums
Tyree Glenn Trombone, Vibes
Reuben Reeves Trumpet
Quentin Jackson Trombone
Mario Bauzá Trumpet
Jerry Blake Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
William Thornton Blue Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Doc Cheatham Trumpet
Shad Collins Trumpet
Wendell Culley Trumpet
R.Q. Dickerson Trumpet
Arville Harris Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
J.C. Heard Drums
Milt Hinton String Bass
Hilton Jefferson Alto Saxophone
Keg Johnson Trombone
Claude Jones Trombone
Leroy Maxey Drums
Al Morgan String Bass
Earres Prince Piano
Irving "Mouse" Randolph Trumpet
Dave Rivera Piano
Jimmy Smith Double Bass, String Bass
Russell Smith Trumpet
Edwin Swayzee Trumpet
Greely Walton Baritone Saxophone
Paul Webster Trumpet
De Priest Wheeler Trombone
Morris White Banjo, Guitar
Lammar Wright Sr. Trumpet
Fred Robinson Trombone
Harry White Trombone
Andrew Brown Bass Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Cab Calloway & His Orchestra Accompaniment
Walter "Foots" Thomas Flute, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Chauncey Houghton Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Skinny Brown Tenor Saxophone
Bernie Payne Piano
Technical Credits
Bing Crosby Composer
Hoagy Carmichael Composer
Cab Calloway Composer, Director
Roy Eldridge Composer
Leonard Feather Composer
James P. Johnson Composer
Gerald Wilson Composer
Matt Dennis Composer
Andy Gibson Arranger, Composer
Irving Mills Composer
Jimmy McHugh Composer
David Bennett Composer
Benny Carter Arranger, Composer
Rube Bloom Composer
Walter Donaldson Composer
Dorothy Fields Composer
Al J. Neiburg Composer
Jack Palmer Composer
Mitchell Parish Composer
Jesse Stone Composer
Edwin Swayzee Composer
Ned Washington Composer
De Priest Wheeler Composer
Victor Young Composer
Chauncey Gray Composer
Bert Lown Composer
Gerhard Wessely Remastering
Lamar Wright Composer
K.H. Rosenzopf Cover Art
Ted Koehler Composer
Maceo Pinkard Composer
Clarence Gaskill Composer
Frank Perkins Composer
Bill Seckler Composer
Riki Parth Producer
Helen Meinardi Composer
Frederick Hamm Composer
Emmet "Babe" Wallace Composer
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