The Dean of Swing

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
This Living Era compilation presents a chronological core sample of Ben Pollack's recorded works, ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime. While some of the dopier vocals might cause Irritable Ear Syndrome, there's enough solid cooking in here to constitute a fairly enjoyable retrospective of the old New Orleans Rhythm Kings drummer's career as a bandleader. "Singapore Sorrows" 1928 includes delightful "oriental" percussion effects and some impressive soloing from Benny Goodman. Other noteworthy names from the first seven sessions include Glenn Miller, Fud Livingston, Jimmy McPartland, Bud Freeman, Mezz Mezzrow, Jack Teagarden, and Ray Bauduc. "Yellow Dog Blues" 1929 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
This Living Era compilation presents a chronological core sample of Ben Pollack's recorded works, ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime. While some of the dopier vocals might cause Irritable Ear Syndrome, there's enough solid cooking in here to constitute a fairly enjoyable retrospective of the old New Orleans Rhythm Kings drummer's career as a bandleader. "Singapore Sorrows" 1928 includes delightful "oriental" percussion effects and some impressive soloing from Benny Goodman. Other noteworthy names from the first seven sessions include Glenn Miller, Fud Livingston, Jimmy McPartland, Bud Freeman, Mezz Mezzrow, Jack Teagarden, and Ray Bauduc. "Yellow Dog Blues" 1929 begins like a solidly respectable stomp but all at once the band stops blowing and Pollack, who at some point must have gotten bitten on the leg by Ted Lewis, begins laughing in measured rhythm. A wah-wah trombone guffaws back at him and then the whole band momentarily succumbs. The subtler "My Kinda Love" 1929 delivers the sugary Park Central Orchestra sound. Pollack warbles quaintly when he sings. The delightful "Keep Your Undershirt On" 1929, with a vocal by Scrappy Lambert and a very suave Teagarden solo, is the best of the early novelty tunes heard here. "Two Tickets to Georgia" 1933 has a snappy vocal by Nappy Lamare, and the band really throws down. Lamare was also turned loose on "Got the Jitters" 1933 with tangible support from Yank Lawson and Benny Morton. "The Beat o' My Heart" 1934, a ghastly attempt at a love song in march rhythm, was apparently a number two hit in its day, but seems in retrospect to represent the nadir of the entire Pollack discography. "Song of the Islands" 1936 has a hypnotic steel guitar wafting about, and now Harry James has materialized in the trumpet section. With "Spreadin' Knowledge Around" 1936, an eight-piece band calling itself Dean & His Kids cooks up a fine stomp. "Jimtown Blues" 1936 really percolates -- this is Pollack at his very best. "Wabash Blues" 1936 by the Rhythm Wreckers uses steel guitar again, but this time as a humorous presence. Pollack generates a pippity-pop sort of wagon-wheel accompaniment while the band deliberately sags and stretches its notes. "Peckin'" 1936 is notable for its deranged group vocal. Composed by Pollack, the song worked very well a year later for Johnny Hodges -- possibly even better than it does here, although Harry James sounds somewhat inspired. The Wreckers return with a tough little rendition of "St. Louis Blues" 1937, during which Muggsy Spanier does some magnificent growling and vocalist Whitey McPherson yodels like a cowgirl. "That Old Feeling" 1937 features the charming Connee Boswell. Spanier stuck with Pollack for most of the rest of 1937, participating in a surprisingly brisk "September in the Rain" and three smoky instrumentals: "My Wild Irish Rose," "Alice Blue Gown," and "The Snake Charmer." Here the band cooks with a steady rolling boil, and the results are gratifying. This is the Pick-A-Rib Boys sound, and it was successfully revived in 1950 with a completely new lineup. "Dardanella" and "That Da Da Strain" are unadulterated straightforward traditional jazz. It's too bad Living Era didn't include more instrumentals in this retrospective; a few of the best vocals would have provided the necessary flavor and context while leaving more room for the right stuff to shine through.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/24/2003
  • Label: Asv Living Era
  • UPC: 743625549126
  • Catalog Number: 5491

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ben Pollack Primary Artist, Drums, Vocals
Bud Freeman Tenor Saxophone
Benny Goodman Clarinet, Trumpet, Alto Saxophone
Harry James Trumpet
Yank Lawson Trumpet
Muggsy Spanier Cornet
Charlie Spivak Trumpet
Jack Teagarden Trombone
Ray Bauduc Drums
Irving Fazola Clarinet
Deane Kincaide Alto Saxophone
Matty Matlock Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Jimmy McPartland Cornet
Benny Morton Trombone
Freddie Slack Piano
Charlie Teagarden Trumpet
Dick Cathcart Trumpet
Earl Baker Cornet
Larry Binyon Clarinet, Flute, Tenor Saxophone
Vic Breidis Piano
Shirley Clay Trumpet
Raymond Cohen Violin
Harry Goodman Tuba
Nappy Lamare Guitar, Vocals
Fud Livingston Tenor Saxophone
Mezz Mezzrow Alto Saxophone
Bill Newman Banjo, Guitar
Joe Price Steel Guitar
Frankie Quartell Cornet
Gil Rodin Alto Saxophone
Moe Schneider Trombone
Ray Sherman Piano
Shorty Sherock Trumpet
Bruce Squires Trombone
Ted Vesely Trombone
Walter Yoder Bass
Victor Young Violin
Alex Beller Violin
Sterling Bose Trumpet
Al Harris Cornet
Garry McAdams Guitar
Whitey McPherson Vocals
Thurman Teague Bass
Opie Cates Alto Saxophone
Frank Frederico Guitar
Ruby Weinstein Trumpet
Joe Yukl Trombone
Franklyn Baur Vocals
Morton Friedman Tenor Saxophone
Bill Schumann Cello
Gil Bowers Piano
Ray Woods Trumpet
Sammy Taylor Drums
Joe Harris Trombone
Herbert "Happy" Lawson Tenor Saxophone
Dave Matthews Tenor Saxophone
Bud Carlton Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Frances Hunt Vocals
Ralph Copsey Trombone
Ben Kanter Clarinet
Francis Palmer Bass
Graham Stevenson Drums
Dick Morgan Banjo
Jerry Johnson Bass
Artie Quenzer Tenor Saxophone
Doris Robbins Vocals
Paulette Byron Vocals
Dean & His Kids Track Performer
Harold "Scrappy" Lambert Vocals
Technical Credits
Harry James Composer
Ben Pollack Composer
Larry Clinton Composer
Irving Mills Composer
W.C. Handy Composer
Jimmy McHugh Composer
Robert Hurst Composer
Felix Bernard Composer
Lew Brown Composer
Johnny Burke Composer
J. Fred Coots Composer
Al Dubin Composer
Sammy Fain Composer
Dorothy Fields Composer
Will J. Harris Composer
Will Hudson Composer
Gus Kahn Composer
Bert Kalmar Composer
Walter Kent Composer
Fred Rose Composer
Harry Ruby Composer
Jo Trent Composer
Harry Warren Composer
Paul Francis Webster Composer
Victor Young Composer
Jerome Jerome Composer
Chauncey Olcott Composer
Charlie Davis Composer
Mark Ranshaw Cover Photo
Charles Tobias Composer
Ted Shapiro Composer
Joe Young Composer
Louis Alter Composer
Fred Fisher Composer
Walter Hirsch Composer
John Jacob Loeb Composer
Dave Ringle Composer
Harry Tierney Composer
Richard Byron Composer
Ray Doll Composer
Edgar Dowell Composer
Mamie Medina Composer
Fred Meinken Composer
Billy Rose Composer
Joseph McCarthy Composer
Johnny Black Composer
Charles E. King Composer
Johnny S. Black Composer
Davis Composer
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