This Is Hep

This Is Hep

by Cab Calloway

In addition to possibly qualifying as the most neatly decorated of all Proper Boxes, This Is Hep wins high marks for being one of the biggest and best Cab Calloway collections ever assembled. With four CDs to fill and a considerably huge body of work to choose from, the folks at Proper covered many of the essentials by roping in highlights dating from a 19-year…  See more details below


In addition to possibly qualifying as the most neatly decorated of all Proper Boxes, This Is Hep wins high marks for being one of the biggest and best Cab Calloway collections ever assembled. With four CDs to fill and a considerably huge body of work to choose from, the folks at Proper covered many of the essentials by roping in highlights dating from a 19-year segment of his long and eventful career. Young Calloway's certifiably hot tracks include triumphs of artful rowdiness like "Bugle Call Rag," "St. Louis Blues," the famous "Scat Song," and a wild version of "Nagasaki," which features the extroverted vocalist at his most dazzling. The second category to consider, if we are to make organized sense of this nutty grab bag of swinging entertainments, would be songs with markedly topical content, like "The Jungle King," "Everybody Eats When They Come to My House," and "A Chicken Ain't Nothin' But a Bird." Calloway does delightfully weird things with his voice during "Chinese Rhythm," and although his bizarre chattering is funny, one cannot ignore the fact that he's making a mockery of a language spoken by fully one-fifth of the world's population. (A similarly entertaining if potentially insulting example of lampooned ethnicity is "Chinatown, My Chinatown" recorded by Slim Gaillard and Slam Stewart in 1938.) Calloway attracted lots of attention in the early '30s by singing about uncontrollable controlled substances. Two of the best of his dope tunes are "Reefer Man" and "The Man from Harlem." With the "Calloway Boogie," "Jumpin' Jive," and "Hey Now, Hey Now," Calloway helped to establish a trend in jump music. This category would also include Joe Liggins' "The Honeydripper" and Buster Harding's "I Want to Rock," with bouncing backup by a vocal harmony group billed as the Cabaliers. Calloway was a master balladeer, capable of belting out a story line in hues and dimensions as vivid and grandiose as a Technicolor Hollywood drama screened in Cinemascope. In addition to his best known-song, "Minnie the Moocher" and its lurid sequel "Kickin' the Gong Around" (which contains a blunt reference to heroin addiction), Calloway's ballad stash on this set includes the operatically tragic "San Francisco Fan," the melodramatic "My Gal," "Geechee Joe," and a strong reading of "Blues in the Night." The voices backing Cab on the disarmingly sweet "I'll Be Around" are once again identifiable as the Cabaliers. A special category for Calloway classics would include his world-famous take on "St. James Infirmary," the full voice splendor of "The Hi De Ho Man (That's Me)," and two excellent nonsense numbers, "Hoy Hoy" and "Zaz Zuh Zaz," a creative variant on the "Minnie the Moocher" call-and-response formula. This category would also contain the smoothly elegant "Two Blocks Down, Turn to the Left" and a salute to tired musicians everywhere, "Fifteen Minute Intermission." Speaking of instrumentalists, the sixth and in some ways most musically significant category in any Calloway collection would consist of records without vocals which feature his finest players. Getting this bandleader to agree to make instrumental records at all appears to have been somewhat of a challenge, as he openly professed mystification as to why anyone would buy a Cab Calloway record without his voice on it. Most of the important instrumentals cut by his orchestra are included in this set. Dizzy Gillespie is featured on his own "Pickin' the Cabbage"; Milt Hinton is the star of "Pluckin' the Bass," and Jonah Jones is spotlit during "Jonah Joins the Cab." Alto saxophonist Hilton Jefferson plays pretty on "Willow Weep for Me" and tenor man Chu Berry interprets "A Ghost of a Chance," while "Paradiddle" and "Ratamacue" showcase flashy drummer Cozy Cole. Given the excellent packaging, remastering, selection, discography, and liner notes, Proper's This Is Hep is highly recommended. Only the JSP label has made a more thorough and comprehensive job of it, and that required eight CDs spread across two box sets. Proper's slim-line set works well as both introduction and tribute.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Proper Box Uk

Related Subjects


Disc 1

  1. Gotta Darn Good Reason Now (For Bein' Good)
  2. St. Louis Blues
  3. Is That Religion?
  4. Some of These Days
  5. Nobody's Sweetheart
  6. St. James Infirmary
  7. Minnie the Moocher
  8. Doin' the Rumba
  9. Black Rhythm
  10. Six or Seven Times
  11. Sweet Georgia Brown
  12. Bugle Call Rag
  13. You Rascal You
  14. Somebody Stole My Gal
  15. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
  16. Trickeration
  17. Kickin' the Gong Around
  18. The Scat Song
  19. Cabin in the Cotton
  20. Strictly Cullud Affair
  21. Minnie the Moocher's Wedding Day
  22. How Come You Do Me Like You Do?
  23. Reefer Man
  24. Hot Toddy
  25. I've Got the World on a String

Disc 2

  1. Beale Street Mama
  2. The Man from Harlem
  3. I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues
  4. Evenin'
  5. Little Town Gal
  6. The Lady with the Fan
  7. Harlem Camp Meeting
  8. Zah Zuh Zaz
  9. 'Long About Midnight
  10. Moonglow
  11. Jitter Bug
  12. Margie
  13. Chinese Rhythm
  14. Keep That Hi-De-Hi in Your Soul
  15. I Ain't Got Nobody
  16. Nagasaki
  17. Baby, Won't You Please Come Home?
  18. You're the Cure for What Ails Me
  19. Copper Colored Gal
  20. The Wedding of Mr and Mrs Swing
  21. Peckin'
  22. Congo
  23. Swing, Swing, Swing
  24. Wake Up and Live
  25. Moon at Sea
  26. I'm Always in the Mood for You

Disc 3

  1. She's Tall, She's Tan, She's Terrific
  2. Mama, I Wanna Make Rhythm
  3. Queen Isabella
  4. Savage Rhythm
  5. Every Day's a Holiday
  6. Rustle of Swing
  7. Three Swings and Out
  8. Skrontch
  9. At the Clambake Carnival
  10. Hoy Hoy
  11. The Boogie Woogie
  12. Mister Paganini, Swing for Minnie
  13. Jive (Page One of the Hepster's Dictionary)
  14. Do You Wanna Jump, Children?
  15. Blue Interlude
  16. F.D.R. Jones
  17. Angels with Dirty Faces
  18. Ratamacue
  19. The Ghost of Smokey Joe
  20. The Jumpin' Jive
  21. For the Last Time I Cried Over You
  22. Pluckin' the Bass
  23. Chili Con Conga
  24. Vuelva
  25. Pickin' the Cabbage
  26. Paradiddle
  27. Calling All Bars
  28. The Lone Arranger

Disc 4

  1. Fifteen Minute Intermission
  2. Rhapsody in Rhumba
  3. Come on with the "Come On"
  4. A Ghost of a Chance
  5. Bye Bye Blues
  6. A Chicken Ain't Nothin' But a Bird
  7. Willow Weep for Me
  8. Jonah Joins the Cab
  9. Geechy Joe
  10. My Gal
  11. St. James Infirmary
  12. Hey Doc!
  13. Blues in the Night
  14. I Want to Rock
  15. I'll Be Around
  16. The Honeydripper
  17. Hey Now, Hey Now
  18. The Hi-De-Ho Man (That's Me)
  19. Oh Grandpa!
  20. The Jungle King
  21. Two Blocks Down Turn Left
  22. San Francisco Fan
  23. The Calloway Boogie
  24. Everybody Eats When They Come to My House
  25. I Beeped When I Shoulda Bopped

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Cab Calloway   Primary Artist,Leader,Vocals
Danny Barker   Guitar
Chu Berry   Tenor Saxophone
Dizzy Gillespie   Trumpet
Jonah Jones   Trumpet,Vibes
Ike Quebec   Tenor Saxophone
Ben Webster   Tenor Saxophone
Eddie Barefield   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Cozy Cole   Drums
Tyree Glenn   Trombone,Vocals,Vibes
Reuben Reeves   Trumpet
John Letman   Trumpet
Sam "The Man" Taylor   Trumpet,Tenor Saxophone
Quentin Jackson   Trombone
Mario Bauzá   Trumpet
Jerry Blake   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
William Thornton Blue   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Garvin Bushell   Clarinet,Bassoon,Alto Saxophone
Doc Cheatham   Trumpet
Shad Collins   Trumpet
Wendell Culley   Trumpet
R.Q. Dickerson   Trumpet
Bob Dorsey   Alto Saxophone
Panama Francis   Drums
Charles Frazier   Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Gibson   Tenor Saxophone
Earl Hardy   Trombone
Arville Harris   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Milt Hinton   Bass
Hilton Jefferson   Alto Saxophone
Keg Johnson   Trombone
Claude Jones   Trombone
Leroy Maxey   Drums
Teddy McRae   Tenor Saxophone
Morgan   Bass
Buford Oliver   Drums
Benny Payne   Piano,Vibes
Rudy Powell   Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Earres Prince   Piano
Irving "Mouse" Randolph   Trumpet
Dave Rivera   Piano
Edwin Swayzee   Trumpet
Walter Thomas   Flute,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Paul Webster   Trumpet
Priest Wheeler   Trombone
Morris White   Banjo,Guitar
June Richmond   Vocals
Andrew Brown   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Lammar Wright   Trumpet
Roger Jones   Trumpet
Fred "Rodriguez" Robinson   Trombone
Russell Smith Orchestra   Trumpet
James Buxton   Trombone
Jimmy Allen Smith   Bass,Tuba

Technical Credits

Dizzy Gillespie   Arranger
Bennie Wallace   Composer
Fats Waller   Composer
Eddie Barefield   Arranger
Larry Clinton   Composer
Andy Gibson   Arranger
Irving Mills   Composer
Edgar Sampson   Arranger
W.C. Handy   Composer
Alec Wilder   Composer
Harold Arlen   Composer
Mario Bauzá   Arranger
Ben Bernie   Composer
Shelton Brooks   Composer
J. Fred Coots   Composer
Duke Ellington   Composer
J. Neiburg   Composer
Mitchell Parish   Composer
Edwin Swayzee   Composer
James Van Heusen   Composer
Chappie Willett   Arranger
Teddy Powell   Arranger
Edgar Battle   Arranger
Harry White   Composer
Bernard   Composer
Tuvinian Singers   Composer
Walter "Foots" Thomas   Arranger
Buster Harding   Arranger,Composer
Patricia Platzman   Composer
Ralph Yaw   Arranger
Alex Hill   Composer
Sam Coslow   Composer
Ted Koehler   Composer
Maceo Pinkard   Composer
Kenneth Casey   Composer
Benny Davis   Composer
Paul Denniker   Composer
Leo Wood   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Joe Primrose   Composer
Barry Trivers   Composer
Jeanne Burns   Composer

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