Wille "The Lion Smith" And His Cubs [Timeless] by Willie "The Lion" Smith | 8711458201230 | CD | Barnes & Noble
Wille

Wille "The Lion Smith" And His Cubs [Timeless]

by Willie "The Lion" Smith
     
 
Willie "The Lion" Smith, Luckey Roberts, and James P. Johnson were Fats Waller's mentors and musical role models. While Roberts made far too few recordings in general and Johnson didn't lead full-blown studio swing sessions until the late 1930s, Waller & His Rhythm practically defined the genre of small group swing beginning in

Overview

Willie "The Lion" Smith, Luckey Roberts, and James P. Johnson were Fats Waller's mentors and musical role models. While Roberts made far too few recordings in general and Johnson didn't lead full-blown studio swing sessions until the late 1930s, Waller & His Rhythm practically defined the genre of small group swing beginning in 1934. Willie "The Lion" Smith made his first recordings as a leader during the years 1935-1937 with a little group identified on the Decca label as His Cubs. The approach was somewhat similar to Waller's, and the Cubs do handle a Waller cover in the form of "There's Gonna Be the Devil to Pay," as well as a Waller original, "I Can See You all Over the Place," better known as "Squeeze Me." The Lion's uplifting "Echoes of Spring" appears in two alternate versions. All of his master takes have been reissued in chronological sequence by the Classics label, and crop up haphazardly on various other samplers. Timeless provides an uncommonly close look at one of the great, underestimated small swing bands of the '30s, represented here in three distinct lineups. A unit drawn from the Clarence Williams orchestra includes cornetist Ed Allen, clarinetist Cecil Scott, and washboard handler Willie Williams, with vocals by Clarence Williams himself. The next edition of the Lion's Cubs included bassist John Kirby and several players who would later perform in his famous sextet. These were trumpeter Frankie Newton, clarinetist Buster Bailey, alto saxophonist Pete Brown, and drummer O'Neil Spencer, who frequently doubled as a vocalist. An additional trumpeter in this particular group was King Oliver's nephew Dave Nelson. The third "Cubs" lineup in this set featured musicians whose names are not quite so familiar even to most followers of swing from this time period. Tenor saxophonist Robert Carroll worked in the orchestras of Benny Carter, Don Redman, and Teddy Hill. Guitarist Jimmy McLin mainly recorded with Billie Holiday and Teddy Hill. Altogether, this is an excellent collection of vintage small group swing. Its catchiest selections include "Get Acquainted with Yourself," "Knock Wood," and "Honeymoonin' on a Dime." For enduring examples of the Lion's music interpreted by other swing bands, seek out Sidney Bechet's recording of "You're the Limit" and the Teddy Hill Orchestra's attractive adaptation of "Passionette," which features pianist Sam Allen.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/11/1998
Label:
Timeless Holland
UPC:
8711458201230
catalogNumber:
12

Tracks

  1. There's Gonna Be the Devil to Pay
  2. Streamline Gal
  3. What Can I Do With a Foolish Little Girl Like You?
  4. What Can I Do With a Foolish Little Girl Like You?
  5. Harlem Joys
  6. Echoes of Spring
  7. Echoes of Spring
  8. Breeze (Blow My Baby Back to Me)
  9. Breeze (Blow My Baby Back to Me)
  10. Swing, Brother, Swing
  11. Swing, Brother, Swing
  12. Sittin' at the Table (Opposite You)
  13. The Swampland Is Calling Me
  14. More Than That
  15. I'm All Out of Breath
  16. I Can See You All over the Place
  17. Get Acquainted With Yourself
  18. Knock Wood
  19. Peace Brother Peace
  20. The Old Stamping Ground
  21. Blues, Why Don't You Leave Me Alone?
  22. I've Got to Think It Over
  23. Achin' Hearted Blues
  24. Honeymoonin' on a Dime

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Willie "The Lion" Smith   Primary Artist,Piano,Vocals
Buster Bailey   Clarinet
John Kirby   Bass
Pete Brown   Alto Saxophone
Frankie Newton   Trumpet
Ed Allen   Cornet
Dave Nelson   Trumpet
Cecil Scott   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
O'Neill Spencer   Drums,Vocals
Jimmy McLin   Guitar
Eric Henry   Drums
Robert Carroll   Tenor Saxophone
Willie Williams   Washboard

Technical Credits

Chris Barber   Executive Producer
James P. Johnson   Composer
Fats Waller   Composer
Irving Mills   Composer
Keith Nichols   Liner Notes
West   Composer
Irving Bibo   Composer
Wallace Bishop   Composer
Walter Bishop   Composer
Sammy Cahn   Composer
Saul Chaplin   Composer
Joe Goodwin   Composer
Joe Hanley   Composer
Ballard MacDonald   Composer
Raymond Scott   Composer
Willie "The Lion" Smith   Composer
Clarence Williams   Composer
Wim Wigt   Executive Producer
Joe Bishop   Composer
Lewis Raymond   Composer
Bob Emmerich   Composer
Billy Hueston   Composer
Charles LaFreniere   Composer
Chester Burnett   Composer

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