Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

August 27, 2020

Soft Sounds For Gentle People, Volume 5 (Pet Records CD)

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softsoundsforgent_5_101b

Since I shared a FADING YELLOW compilation recently, I also need to offer an entry from the other stellar compilation series of trippy pop-sike 45’s from the late 1960’s, SOFT SOUNDS FOR GENTLE PEOPLE.

The first volume of SSFGP came out in 2003, and since then there have been five volumes in the main series, and some side volumes of all-female collections, male-female duets, “mystic males,” and a wonderful compilation of Bob Dylan clones called IT’S ZIMMERMAN’S WORLD…WE JUST LIVE IN IT. It seems as though the most recent release in the series was the sublime MYSTIC MALES 2, in 2014. Like the Dylan collection, MM2 was issued in a cardboard mini-LP sleeve (the earlier volumes were in jewel boxes), had few tracks than earlier comps, and was issued simultaneously on LP (the reason for the lesser number of tracks). I miss not having regular releases from Pet Records! As any listener to Steve Stanley’s NOW SOUNDS or Andrew Sandoval’s COME TO THE SUNSHINE or anyone who’s gone through some of the LOST JUKEBOX volumes I linked to knows, there is good material out there for many many more volumes of SSFGP. Soft Sounds has a unique and instantly recognizable sound, which is at once more kitschy and more overtly psychedelic than the Fading Yellow series. You won’t find early 70’s singer-songwriters here, and the late 60’s ones you find are more along the lines of Bob Ray’s ‘Initiation of a Mystic’ or Sonny Bono’s ‘Inner Views’ (and you can get a boatload of that kind of sublimity on the two MYSTIC MALES comps, which I highly recommend). An important and endlessly enjoyable series–a series that’s often playing at my home or on the road in the car.

Why not enjoy the most recent entry in the main series, Volume 5, which some kind soul has posted to You Tube. Link is below….

01. Stix & Stonz – Take a Bus
02. The Johnnys – Nothing Sacred
03. Mouse – Look at the Sun
04. The Rainy Daze – Blood of Oblivion
05. People – Ridin High
06. Wells and Fargo – Mother Goose Sonata
07. Things to Come – Hello
08. Roman Chariot – Five Sensations
09. The Delicate Balance – Autumn Wind
10. Bentley Road – Kill the Cobra
11. The Charter Members – All the Worlds Kings
12. The Carnival – The Four Seasons
13. The Phoenix Trolley – When Charleys Doing his Thing
14. Misty Morn – Summer Sunshine
15. Devils Brigade – Dreaming Is
16. The Sandals – House of Painted Glass
17. The Lollipop Fantasy – It’s a Groovy World
18. The Flower Pot – Gentle People
19. The Capes of Good Hope – Lady Margaret
20. The 1st Century – Looking Down
21. The Fraternity of Man – Wispy Paisley Skies

The CD of this album has exhaustive liner notes, as do all the volumes, and I see on Ebay you can still get Volume 5 and also Mystic Males 2, if you are so inclined, for under $15 each. The earlier volumes have gone up in price a lot, unfortunately, so act now to grab the ones you can cheaply.

The series consists of

SOFT SOUNDS FOR GENTLE PEOPLE 1

SOFT SOUNDS FOR GENTLE PEOPLE 2

SOFT SOUNDS FOR GENTLE PEOPLE 3

SOFT SOUNDS FOR GENTLE PEOPLE 4

SOFT SOUNDS FOR GENTLE PEOPLE 5

SOUNDS OF SHE

HE AND SHE

MYSTIC MALES

MYSTIC MALES 2

IT’S ZIMMERMAN’S WORLD…WE JUST LIVE IN IT

August 18, 2020

Fading Yellow, Volume 1

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fading yellow 1

…………………………..

Hard to believe it’s almost 20 years since the first CD compilation in the seminal FADING YELLOW popsike compilation series (an LP came out in the 1990’s prior to the CD’s). I reviewed a volume in Ugly Things magazine a while back and then reviewed the most recent entry, Volume 17, here on the KSE blog a while back. You can read that write-up here:

https://kendrasteinereditions.wordpress.com/2020/02/23/fading-yellow-volume-17-flower-machine-cd-sweden/

Here is a key section from that, in case you are unfamiliar with the FY series: Curating compilations is truly a complex art–a quality compiler with a consistent aesthetic and a knowledge of deep tracks that others have overlooked can create a masterwork from songs that, taken individually, might not blow anyone away. Through sixteen volumes, the Fading Yellow (the name taken from a Mike Batt song on the first volume) series has staked out a unique territory–not really psychedelic, though with some trippy elements; not really sunshine pop, though with some elements from that genre too. There tends to be a moody, melancholy feel to the best tracks on these albums, and even when the series moves too far into the 1970’s and some of the pieces sound like groups such as America or England Dan & John Ford Coley, those tracks tend to complement the overall atmosphere of the album and provide a change of pace among the trippier tracks that helps create a varied mosaic of sound that’s instantly recognizable as a Fading Yellow comp. The albums can transport you to a place where you are looking upon a field of flowers illuminated by moonlight at 2 a.m., with a mellow wine buzz….assuming that’s what you want!

While I (literally!) keep my FADING YELLOW CD’s on the same shelf as my SOFT SOUNDS FOR GENTLE PEOPLE comps, FY has a unique and consistent aesthetic….SOFT SOUNDS tends to go more for kitschy West Coast faux-psych, while FY tends to go more for trippy late 60’s (and eventually early 70’s) singer-songwriters or florid studio-pop that could have been played at a record-label press-party announcing the release of, say, The Yardbirds’ LITTLE GAMES or the Bee Gees’s ODESSA (if you get my drift), but there is also an appealingly eclectic quality to the series so those generalities don’t really hold when you look at the entire series. Certainly, anyone who enjoys Steve Stanley’s NOW SOUNDS internet radio show or Andrew Sandoval’s COME TO THE SUNSHINE will appreciate the FADING YELLOW series. I certainly do, and every year I bring a stack of FADING YELLOW CD’s with me when I go on my poetry writing vacations (as I did just last week!) because you can’t get much more “atmospheric” than Fading Yellow (I also have allusions to lyrics of some of the songs in some poems, for you trainspotters our there and for future scholars to unpack).

So, here is VOLUME 1 from the Fading Yellow series for you, from You Tube. It should play the songs in order. This is the volume that started it all! There is a primarily UK orientation here (volumes would often alternate their focus….one volume would be UK/Europe, the next would be North American, etc., though some mix that up), though the net is cast wide enough to include Ronnie Bird (from France) and the Aerovans (Americans who recorded in the UK in a very British style).

Put it on while you are doing something around the house….and then repeat it, and you may well be hooked….

note: some of the songs on the original CD have been deleted on You Tube (no doubt due to rights issues…..these comps are not authorized and are more visible on You Tube than on the “private pressing” CD’s distributed through specialist dealers), so I’ve deleted them from the line-up below–you can tell from the missing numbers.

…………………………..

Fading Yellow Vol. 1
Timeless Pop-Sike and Other Delights
1965-69

CD version originally released 2002.

• • • • •

1. Kate – “Strange Girl” (3:04)
2. Dean Ford and the Gaylords – “That Lonely Feeling” (2:41)
3. Eddy Howell – “Easy Street” (3:01)
4. Mike Batt – “Fading Yellow” (3:45)
5. Steff Sulke – “Oh, What a Lovely Day” (3:04)
6. John Williams – “Flowers in Your Hair” (2:42)
7. Zephyrs – “I Just Can’t Take It” (2:31)
8. Jon – “Is It Love” (2:52)
9. Koobas – “Woe Is Love My Dear” (2:27)
10. Orange Bicycle – “Competition” (2:40)
11. Gremlins – “The Only Thing On My Mind” (2:06)
12. Quintin E. Klopjaeger & the Gonks – “The Long Way Home” (2:28)

16. Paul & Barry Ryan – “Madrigal” (2:17)
17. Phil Cordell – “Red Lady” (2:25)
18. Ronnie Bird – “Sad Soul” (2:52)
19. Ronnie Bird – “Raining in the City” (2:37)
20. Elliots Sunshine – “‘Cos I’m Lonely” (3:08)
21. Peter Janes – “Do You Believe (Love Is Built on a Dream)” (2:54)
22. Bliss – “Lifetime” (2:47)

24. Members of Time – “Dreamin'” (2:38)
25. Aerovons – “World of You” (2:24)

……………………………

Enjoy!

November 7, 2019

now an even dozen releases in the SOUL DIAMONDS series

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ABC Soul Diamonds

For a decade or more, the SOUL DIAMONDS series of CDR compilation albums, on the “Buried Treasures” label from France, has been issuing exciting, overstuffed collections of obscure soul 45’s (with an album track here and there) from the 1960’s and early 1970’s, and they’ve taken the route of doing label-based surveys, since so many nationally-distributed labels of the period released significant numbers of soul 45’s, both in-house label-produced and licensed-in from regional producers or picked up from small labels. The quality has been very high on these comps, and unlike many of the other series of CDR “collector” soul comps (which I also buy here and there as I can afford them and when they include a high percentage of tracks I don’t own already), these have intelligent liner notes clearly written by someone who knows obscure soul music inside out.

Two new volumes arrived in my mailbox today (VERVE and ROULETTE), and I hope to write about each one of those separately in the near future, but now I wanted to alert you to what’s in the series so far (I’ve also reviewed a number of them here on the KSE blog….just go to the search box and type in SOUL DIAMONDS). I think that most if not all of them are still in print. A number of sellers in Asia offer them as well as some specialized soul dealers in Europe. Here in the US, if you go to Ebay and type in the name SOUL DIAMONDS within “Music,” you should find the American seller from whom I’ve gotten mine (who offers fine service and low prices, by the way). So here are the twelve labels which have been covered in the series as of today. I have other suggestions for label surveys, but I have a feeling they will be gotten to eventually. Thanks to whatever Europeans are compiling and issuing these–it’s clearly a labor of love.

TCD 1001, DECCA SOUL DIAMONDS

TCD 1002, MERCURY SOUL DIAMONDS

TCD 1003, EPIC SOUL DIAMONDS

TCD 1004, ABC SOUL DIAMONDS

TCD 1005, ATLANTIC SOUL DIAMONDS

TCD 1006, COLUMBIA SOUL DIAMONDS

TCD 1007, RCA SOUL DIAMONDS

TCD 1008, ATCO SOUL DIAMONDS

TCD 1009, COTILLION SOUL DIAMONDS

TCD 1010, POLYDOR SOUL DIAMONDS

TCD 1011, VERVE SOUL DIAMONDS (new!)

TCD 1012, ROULETTE SOUL DIAMONDS (new!)

mercury soul diamonds

September 1, 2019

Vintage Psychedelia From The Music City (SPV-Yellow CD, Germany)

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various artists, “Vintage Psychedelia From The Music City”

cd, SPV-Yellow Records, Germany….circa 2008

compiled by Fred James and Paul Urbahns

vintage psych front

For about 15 years, in the 1990’s and the early 2000’s, wonderful 50s/60s  compilations of tracks from the small labels of Nashville appeared on a number of reissue labels in Europe, mostly Holland and Germany, licensed from the archives of Bluesland Productions, run by the superb bluesman Fred James, who is well-known for his exciting collaborations/productions with veteran blues and R&B artists such as Frank Frost, Homesick James, and the “Excello R&B Legends,” Clifford Curry, Earl Gaines, and Roscoe Shelton. Any album James recorded with these men is worth getting, and the Gaines and Shelton discs have rarely been far from my turntable/cd-player over the years. However, Mr. James is also an archivist and controls the rights to the material found on a number of Nashville-based small labels, with material spanning a number of genres: blues, R&B, rocknroll, pop, country, bluegrass, rockabilly, country-rock, jump blues, etc. We can look at those other genres in other posts (and I hope we will, it’s a large and stunning body of work that’s little commented on), but now I’d like to discuss an odd but fascinating album that crept out in Germany eleven years back and has received little attention.

boys

The focus here is on Nashville’s SPAR label. Best known for its soundalike budget covers of various hits (most record collectors have stumbled across a number of Spar 45’s over the years, particularly if you are in or close to The South), Spar also recorded original material, and there is a mixture of both on this 20-track album. The core of the album, and the finest material on it, is singles by three bands, The Network (whose single was produced by the great George Motola, of Jesse Belvin fame, who’d moved to Nashville and brought his A-game to this session), Charley Romans Seventh Plane, and The Mad Tea Party, groups about which little is known, but the little that is known is covered well in James’ liner notes. They are first rate, trippy soft-psych material that would fit well on a FADING YELLOW or SOFT SOUNDS FOR GENTLE PEOPLE comp.  In fact, I’m sure at least one of the songs is on one of those comps, as I’ve heard TWO of these songs but I’ve never owned the actual singles. They are intelligent songs, well-performed and well-arranged, but with that wonderful small-label ambiance that makes all the difference. And the album’s programmers were smart to put these as tracks 1 and 2 (great lead-off makes one favorable toward the album), tracks 5 and 6, and tracks 9 and 10. With that much excellent material in the first half of the album, the many entertaining but thin soundalike covers by The Electric Screwdriver are easier to swallow. Of course, being quickie recordings, they really DO NOT sound “alike” to the originals, and from our perspective today, it’s the differences that make listening worthwhile. I particularly like the “bubblepunk” vocal on “Instant Karma,” which makes it sound like something from the Kasenetz-Katz stable. The covers of Hush, Come Together, Born To Be Wild, and Crimson and Clover are all well done and capture the essence of the originals while sounding different enough to be of interest to today’s collectors. The covers of “Love Is Blue” and Jose Feliciano’s version of “Light My Fire” are not really psych by any definition, or even rocknroll, but as they are mixed among other quality material, they are quite tasty….and have that unique, off-kilter flavor one finds with budget-label cover versions, which I have actively collected and enjoyed for decades. For instance, the version of Paul Mauriat’s elevator music classic “Love Is Blue” is arranged to feature fewer musicians than the original (which makes economic sense on a quickie cover), so a solo classical guitar is featured throughout and there is no orchestra. The guitarist’s playing—maybe someone who played on a Nashville country session across town the same day—is beautiful, and I’d love to hear a full album of him/her playing the hits of the day. You take fine artistry wherever you find it.

bliss

Southern psychedelia sounds nothing like psychedelia from other parts of the USA—-I was reminded of that fact again recently while reading about LITTLE PHIL AND THE NIGHTSHADOWS in UGLY THINGS #51…. only a band from the South could produce an album like their totally original with a debt to no other band THE SQUARE ROOT OF TWO…. or something like THE ELECTRIC TOILET‘s album IN THE HANDS OF KARMA (a favorite of mine since the 70’s)… or the various bands who recorded for Shelby Singleton’s family of labels (Charly did a fine sampling of that material on a 2-cd set a few years back called ALICE IN WONDERLAND: THE GREAT SOUTHERN POP-SIKE TRIP). Maybe it’s the fact that so many Southern bands have deep roots in soul/gospel and in R&B flavored frat-rock—-you decide. Even the Spar cover of “Magic Carpet Ride”, credited to THE ELECTRIC SCREWDRIVER, reflects that unique approach to psych South of the Mason-Dixon Line.

I should state for the record that if you buy this album thinking you are going to get psychedelic material, you’ll be disappointed. There are three fine trippy singles (six songs), mixed in with excellent sound-alike covers of psych-tinged classics (Magic Carpet Ride, Crimson and Clover, etc.), mixed in with other Spar Records covers from the era (Love In Blue, Games People Play, etc.). I should also mention the fine cover of fellow Tennesseans THE BOX TOPS’ hit SWEET CREAM LADIES, by a Spar studio group called THE CHORDS (on some other records spelled THE CORDS), which was originally on the B-side of a cover of “Build Me Up Buttercup” credited to The Fantastics. Perhaps the best way to appreciate this album is to imagine you are listening to some low-wattage Nashville radio station in an alternate universe circa 1969 in a dream  you don’t want to end, in a world where all the windows are crooked, the milk is watery, and all the newspapers are printed off-center. Or maybe you hit a junk store outside Nashville circa 1972 with a large haul of random Spar Records-related material, and you’re playing it in no particular order. However you view it, fans who can go from pop-sike to budget-label covers of “Magic Carpet Ride” and “Instant Karma” without missing a beat will be as excited about this album as I’ve been for the last eleven years. You’re unlikely to find a copy of either ELECTRIC SCREWDRIVER album in the wild easily (I’ve never owned them, though I’ve owned maybe 20 Spar singles at one time or another over the years), so here’s your chance to hear the cream of that material….and some first-rate original pop-sike singles from Music City USA….and I see copies of this CD on Discogs and Ebay going for FOUR DOLLARS. You can’t afford NOT to own a copy.

working

….

electric

………

spar8track-01

8-track cover from Bluesland Productions (owner of the rights to this material) website

August 22, 2019

TEENAGE DREAMS, VOLUME 40: The Final Edition

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TD 40

TEENAGE DREAMS, VOLUME 40: THE FINAL EDITION (Teenie Weenie, CD, Germany)

TD 40 2

Heart Broken – Danny Cagle & the Escorts
Wanda – Randy Loring
That’s The Love – Steve Denver With The Phantoms
Maggie – Sunny Molino With The Chekkers
We Mean More To Each Other – The Centurians
Lonely Tears – Roger Blackwell
Walking At Midnight – Sonny Flaharty
For My Angel – The Vons
Teenage Serenade – Ray Burden
Too Young For Love – Bob Steffek & The Falcons
I Dreamed AboutYou Last Night – Charlie Gore
Twistin’ Irene – The Dinos
The Girl By My Side – Inspirations
i Always Dream Of Barbara – Scott Smith & The Rockets
I Wish – Eric With The Plazas
Oh What An Angle You Are – Dickie Loader & The Blue Jeans
Yo Yo Girl – Dickie & The Debonaires
White Bobby Socks – Bosse Quiding
Blue Guitar – Jan Davis
Unlucky In Love – Freddie Morrison & The Capris
Lonely One – Robert A Irvine
Lonely Girl – Jerry Minton
The Flame – Ralph Miranda
My Truest Love – Dick And Slim & The Satelites
A Woman Of The World – Rockdin C Hoaglund
Jane – Rock Williams & His Fighting Cats
I Thank The lord – Bobby Leone
The Foolish One – Dick Dewayne
Let Me Keep You Company – Johnny Jay
Gee Whiz – Little Angie & The Hi-Lites

TD 40 3

After a 20-or-so year run, with 40 (!!!!!) overstuffed CD’s with 30 or more tracks each of prime late 50’s/early 60’s teen rock and roll (except for one volume which opened with an awful recently-recorded track “in the spirit of the era”), the Teenage Dreams compilation series comes to an end…but it’s better to go out on a high point, and this volume 40 is certainly a solid one, than to keep going and padding future volumes with sub-standard material. Anyone who’s ever collected 45’s of that era knows that there’s a lot of junk out there with awful flat and/or adenoidal lead vocals, or unlistenable cloying backing vocals or insipid Mitch Miller style instrumentation backing the singer, so the compilers of this material have waded through probably hundreds of singles to come up with the 30 tracks on offer here. Teen rock/ highschool rock/ malt shoppe bop, call it what you will, dates from 1957 or so through 1964. These artists wanted to be the new Ricky Nelson, the new Bobby Vee, perhaps the new Dion, maybe the new John Ashley or the new Fabian—-they did not want to be the new Link Wray or the new Gene Vincent. Every area had its teen dances at high schools and VFW halls and CYO events and Masonic Halls, and here in the USA, any town with a few thousand people could have a small label they could record for (and that’s not counting “custom”/vanity pressings, where anyone anywhere with a few hundred dollars could put out a record and potentially compete with Ricky or Buddy or Elvis). Some vocal groups who were not specifically doo-wop or had a charismatic front man who tended to be featured would also qualify for this genre. And yes, there might be some overlap between singles that would wind up on a Collector–White Label LP or singles that would fit on a doo-wop collector’s reissue because there would be that ineffable “teen” quality where the band could potentially play a dance attended by Wally Cleaver and his pals (Beaver was too young), or Betty and Veronica from the Archie comics.

The bands generally rock, although some may have a few strings and a backing chorus—-the better volumes of this series may only have 4 or 5 such tracks, spread out among the 30.

Also, various volumes feature early recordings by people who are better-known for their work after this era…. early tracks by Skip Battin and Steve Barri on various Teenage Dreams volumes come to mind. And it’s great to learn about the local “teen scene” circa 1959 or 1961 in towns such as Corpus Christi or Dayton or Providence or Charlotte…not to mention the well-chosen overseas teen-rockers from places such as New Zealand or Belgium or (as on this album, with the Dickie Loader track) South Africa. Back in the LP era, Collector-White Label issued 3 fine albums of this kind of material from New Zealand called ROCK FROM THE OTHER SIDE, which are highly recommended (those leaned toward more of a harder R&R sound, but the “teener” feel was there most of the time).

I have about 20 of the 40 volumes and must say that they’ve provided me with endless hours of joy, particularly on road trips where it’s like the ultimate malt shoppe jukebox of fresh material you’d find in a dream. One could never “find” these kind of things out in the wild nowadays, and I never participate in online auctions, so the anonymous European compilers of this material, who know more about the nuts and bolts of the local US post-Elvis, pre-Beatles teen sound than I ever will, have really done us all a public service by making this exciting and enjoyable music available. Oh, there are other series mining this vein—-I’ve reviewed some of them in Ugly Things magazine, and I assume they will continue (the albums on the “Classics” label from Sweden are particularly fine), but those of us who love small-label original rock and roll featuring local-scene teen-idols should tip our hats to the folks at Teenie Weenie Records for sticking with this series for two decades or more….and keeping the quality high. I will raise a chocolate malt in their honor….

TD 40 4

….

TD 40 5

….

td 40 6

….

TD 40 SUNNY MOLINO WITH THE CHEKKERS

Sunny Molino with the Chekkers

August 7, 2019

CLASSICS COMPLEMENTARY TRACKS (France, 3-CD set, Classics #24)

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complementary

CLASSICS COMPLEMENTARY TRACKS

3-cd set, released 1999, Classics #24 (France)

contains 1924-1949 recordings

Between 1990 and 2004, the French “Classics Records” label issued over 1000 CD’s, chronological multi-volume sets of the 78 rpm recordings of great jazz and swing artists…and later R&B through their Classics R&B subsidiary (think of it as a jazz version of Document Records, but without the alternate takes). Multiple releases were out each month, and early on, I knew that it would be silly (and financially impossible) to attempt try to get them all or even many of them. Instead, I tried to focus on bodies of work that had not really been reissued adequately (SEVEN volumes of Erskine Hawkins, for instance, or four volumes of Bennie Moten, or as many of the Fletcher Hendersons as I could afford, etc.) or periods in an artist’s career that had evaded reissue at that time (Ellington’s post WWII but pre-LP-era Columbia recordings). Also, I sought out lesser-known artists whose bodies of work I’d always wanted to hear….TWO cd’s of the complete Boots and His Buddies, for instance. To say that these albums were a revelation is an understatement.

As with the many Document CD’s I own, the Classics discs are pretty much always in regular rotation here. It’s hard to imagine now, but because of the distribution clout of Allegro Music (which later burned so many indie labels badly and was largely responsible for Document Records de-emphasizing physical media), these discs—-at least some of them—-would appear in American music stores such as Tower, Best Buy, and Circuit City. They’d usually have one copy of each, and if you wanted it, you had to pick it up quick. I would usually scout the local stores each month at payday. (Another amazing phenomenon during this period was that American labels would sometimes distribute the jazz releases of their Japanese subsidiaries! I wonder sometimes if that era was just a dream. The Circuit City in my neighborhood had the 10-CD Japanese Phonogram box of the complete Clifford Brown, which was listed for about $90. I could not afford that, but I looked at it every time I visited. After about four months of it not selling, it was lowered to $29.99….I took the plunge….it still has a prominent place in my collection, and it’s never far from my main CD player) And in the early to mid 1990’s, retailers prided themselves on having as many different releases as possible….as the years went by, the emphasis became many copies of a handful of new releases. Things became less interesting at the point, and listeners with specialized tastes had no choice but to buy online. We all know what eventually happened with that!

One day in 1999, at my local retailer (sorry, I don’t remember which), I saw a Classics label 3-cd set called COMPLEMENTARY TRACKS (technically, it was a 2 cd set with a free bonus cd), and it had a sticker on the front (which I’ve saved) saying “This Set is NOT a Sampler!” It looked like an interesting combination of lesser-known, un-reissued artists (Garnet Clark, Midge Williams, Alphonso Trent, Ella Logan, Jerry Kruger) and obscure, often late-period recordings by well-known artists for obscure labels (1943 and 1946 sessions by Don Redman, 1945 and 1949 sessions from Fletcher Henderson, a 1945 session from Luis Russell, an obscure Slim Gaillard one-off for a tiny L.A. label). The track listing for the third “bonus” CD was not listed on the back cover, but hey, there were enough gems already on the first two CD’s to warrant this purchase.

I never saw another physical copy of this set in my travels to jazz-focused record stores in various cities, and I see that it is now selling (only one copy available) for $107 on Discogs. I assume those of you who know how to download music from various foreign hosting sites can find this album somewhere out there. The rest of you, keep your eyes out and maybe some record store will sell a copy for maybe $25 or whatever, ignoring the price on Discogs, and you can have your own copy of this amazing set, something which only could have been released during the golden age of archival CD reissues of vintage music. It belongs on the same shelf as the Savoy Completer Disc and the Verve Elite Edition compilation I’ve reviewed elsewhere here at the KSE blog.

Here’s what the Classics label itself said about this curious release: This two CD set (plus a bonus CD) includes tracks not available in the Classics series. The bonus CD corrects errors featured in different Classics releases

Since it’s unlikely you’ll be finding a copy of this soon, let me provide my own guide/commentary to what’s on the 3 CD’s.

Compact Disc 1
1-1 –Chick Webb And His Orchestra
Who Ya Hunchin’
2:54
1-2 –Chick Webb And His Orchestra
In The Groove At The Grove
2:41

The final two instrumentals from the Webb band, which did not fit on their non-Ella Fitzgerald collections of Webb’s records
1-3 –Taft Jordan And The Mob
Night Wind
2:39
1-4 –Taft Jordan And The Mob
If The Moon Turns Green
2:44
1-5 –Taft Jordan And The Mob
Devil In The Moon
2:54
1-6 –Taft Jordan And The Mob
Louisiana Fairy Tale
2:55

These 1935 tracks for “Banner” are the only pre-1950 recordings under his own name by the great Armstrong-inspired trumpeter, a man often mentioned in jazz lore and interviews with musicians from the period….also featuring pianist Teddy Wilson
1-7 –Al Cooper And His Savoy Sultans
Boats
2:51
1-8 –Al Cooper And His Savoy Sultans
Fish For Supper
2:38
1-9 –Al Cooper And His Savoy Sultans
‘Ats In There
2:42
1-10 –Al Cooper And His Savoy Sultans
Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide
2:46

The final session, from 1941, from this great NYC combo, which did not fit on their Classics CD….and that CD was one I definitely bought since the band was a legend for their exciting performances at the Savoy Ballroom, but their recordings seemed to evade reissue
1-11 –Jerry Kruger And Her Orchestra*
Rain, Rain, Go Away
2:26
1-12 –Jerry Kruger And Her Orchestra*
Summertime
3:01

Female vocalist, tracks from 1939, with Buck Clayton and Lester Young
1-13 –Don Redman And His Orchestra
Pistol Packin’ Mama
3:50
1-14 –Don Redman And His Orchestra
Redman Blues
4:53
1-15 –Don Redman And His Orchestra
Great Day In The Morning
3:14

Don Redman was, along with Fletcher Henderson–in whose band he was arranger circa 1923-24–the key architect of the jazz orchestra of the 1920’s, and by extension the fore-runner of the swing orchestras of the 1930’s and beyond. First we have three wonderful V-Discs from 1943, with Redman himself providing witty spoken introductions. Redman sings on one track, and anyone who’s ever heard his classic version of  “Cherry” with McKinney’s Cotton Pickers knows the unique “personality” vocals of Redman in his signature lazy style–fans of Johnny Mercer’s singing would enjoy Redman’s.
1-16 –Don Redman’s Orchestra*
Midnite Mood
3:02
1-17 –Don Redman’s Orchestra*
Dark Glasses
2:29
1-18 –Don Redman’s Orchestra*
Mickey Finn
2:40
1-19 –Don Redman’s Orchestra*
Carrie Mae Blues
3:08

An obscure 1946 session for a label called “Swan,” which was NOT the later Philadelphia label of Freddy Cannon, Link Wray, and Beatles fame
1-20 –Alphonso Trent And His Orchestra
Clementine
3:11
1-21 –Alphonso Trent And His Orchestra
I Found A New Baby
3:12

Interesting territory band, also featured on a Jazz Oracle CD, with very-late Gennett sessions released on the Champion subsidiary
1-22 –Luis Russell And His Orchestra
After Hour Creep
2:49
1-23 –Luis Russell And His Orchestra
Garbage Man Blues
2:53

Tracks not included on the Russell CD #1066….the latter track is the classic “stick out your can, here comes the garbage man” which became a standard in the blues/R&B world
1-24 –Chickasaw Syncopators
Chickasaw Stomp
3:17
1-25 –Chickasaw Syncopators
Memphis Rag
3:22

The sizzling hot 1927 Memphis session by the young musicians who later became the Jimmie Lunceford band
Compact Disc 2
2-1 –Garnet Clark
I Got Rhythm

American pianist who came to Europe with Benny Carter in 1935 and stayed there….he died young, and made only two sessions, this track recorded in Paris and issued only on a French 78
2:58
2-2 –Midge Williams, Columbia Jazz Band
St. Louis Blues
3:27
2-3 –Midge Williams, Columbia Jazz Band
Lazy Bones
3:28
2-4 –Midge Williams, Columbia Jazz Band
Dinah
3:23

Talk about obscure….this African-American pianist made these recordings in Japan with Japanese musicians for a Japanese label in 1934! Hearing a Japanese ensemble tackle these well-known songs, with a fine American pianist at the helm, is an experience!
2-5 –Fletcher Henderson And His Orchestra
King Porter Stomp
3:00
2-6 –Fletcher Henderson And His Orchestra
Moten Swing
2:53
2-7 –Fletcher Henderson And His Orchestra
Minor Riff
2:46
2-8 –Fletcher Henderson And His Orchestra
Satchel Mouth Baby
3:03

1945 L.A. sessions for Musicraft, which went unissued at the time and came out only during the LP era
2-9 –Fletcher Henderson And His Orchestra
Close Your Eyes
2:52
2-10 –Fletcher Henderson And His Orchestra
This Is Everything I Prayed For
2:43
2-11 –Fletcher Henderson And His Orchestra
Again
2:52
2-12 –Fletcher Henderson And His Orchestra
Ain’t Losing You
3:01

An obscure 1949 session–very late for FH–from L.A. for the local Supreme label, featuring the vocals of Troy Floyd
2-13 –The Red Onion Jazz Babies
Of All The Wrongs You Done To Me
2:43
2-14 –The Red Onion Jazz Babies
Terrible Blues
2:48
2-15 –The Red Onion Jazz Babies
Santa Claus Blues
2:40
2-16 –The Red Onion Jazz Babies
Cake Walking Babies From Home
3:08

Seminal 1924 recordings for Gennett, featuring the young Louis Armstrong
2-17 –Perry Bradford Jazz Phools
Lucy Long
2:49
2-18 –Perry Bradford Jazz Phools
I Ain’t Gonna Play No Second Fiddle
2:35

A 1925 record from a band fronted by Bradford (there’s a piece about him elsewhere on this blog–just search for PERRY BRADFORD AND THE BLUES SINGERS in the search box), featuring Armstrong, Don Redman, and James P. Johnson
2-19 –Evelyn Preer
If You Can’t Hold The Man You Love
2:47

The great actress and vocalist, whose work can be found on various Document CD’s, is backed by the core of Duke Ellington’s band here
2-20 –Walter Page’s Blue Devils
Blue Devil Blues
2:45
2-21 –Walter Page’s Blue Devils
Squabblin’
3:00

From the classic Kansas City band (remember the seminal film LAST OF THE BLUE DEVILS?) 1929 recordings, including the young Hot Lips Page and the young Jimmy Rushing
2-22 –Omer Simeon
Smoke-House Blues
2:31
2-23 –Omer Simeon
Beau-Koo Jack
2:41

The New Orleans clarinetist, also associated with Jelly Roll Morton, on this 1929 recording made in Chicago, one side of which features Earl Hines on piano
2-24 –Ella Logan And The Spirits Of Rhythm*
Exactly Like You
3:06

The famous Jive vocal trio, an unissued 1941 recording
2-25 –Slim Gaillard Quartet*
Froglegs And Bourbon
3:07

An obscure track by the master of Vout-O-Reenee, recorded for the L.A. “Bee Bee” label, though not originally released.


BONUS DISC (Disc 3)  this might be called the “corrections” disc

3-1 –Art Tatum
I Would Do Anything For You
2:38
3-2 –Benny Carter
Tiger Rag
2:40
3-3 –Jimmie Lunceford
Bugs Parade
2:28
3-4 –Duke Ellington
Wall Street Wail
2:57
3-5 –Luis Russell
Poor Lil’ Me
3:19
3-6 –Cab Calloway
Are You Hep To The Jive
2:47
3-7 –Lucky Millinder
All The Time
2:32
3-8 –Billie Holiday
On The Sentimental Side
3:03
Tracks 1 through 8 of Disc 3 are “corrected” versions of songs from earlier CD’s where the wrong version or the wrong take appeared….these tracks “correct” those errors.
3-9 –Pete Johnson
Pete’s Lonesome Blues
2:51
3-10 –Pete Johnson
Mr. Drums Meets Mr. Piano
2:56
3-11 –Pete Johnson
Mutiny In The Doghouse
2:46
3-12 –Pete Johnson
Mr. Clarinet Knocks Twice
2:56
3-13 –Pete Johnson
Ben Rides Out
3:00
3-14 –Pete Johnson
Page Mr. Trumpet
3:05
3-15 –Pete Johnson
J.C. From K.C.
3:02
3-16 –Pete Johnson
Pete’s Housewarming Blues
2:49

These tracks, which are also collected on a Savoy album called PETE’S BLUES, had spoken intros with boogie woogie piano master Johnson inviting different musicians to join him in a house party….those spoken intros were lopped off of the earlier Classics CD on which the tracks appeared….they are “corrected” by the complete versions here.
3-17 –Bunny Berigan
It’s Been So Long
3:03
3-18 –Bunny Berigan
I’d Rather Lead A Band
2:49
3-19 –Bunny Berigan
Let Yourself Go
2:48
3-20 –Bunny Berigan
A Melody From The Sky
2:47
3-21 –Bunny Berigan
Rhythm Saved The World
2:35
3-22 –Bunny Berigan
I Nearly Let Love Go Slippin’ Thru’ My Fingers
2:48
3-23 –Bunny Berigan
But Definitely
3:00
3-24 –Bunny Berigan
If I Had My Way
2:41

Any fan of trumpeter Bunny Berigan knows that he was a sideman on hundreds of records, many of which contain exciting solos from him….evidently, when Classics reissued sides on an earlier CD that Berigan recorded with vocalist Chick Bullock, they edited out the vocal choruses to feature Berigan’s soloing! I guess the folks at Classics did not like Bullock’s vocalizing–he’s in the same vein as session vocalists such as Dick Robertson, Smith Ballew, etc. Anyone who listens to a lot of 20s and 30s dance bands is used to those kind of vocals, and some are worse than others. Bullock would be considered “above average” among those session vocalists, and does not really have the stilted nasal sound one associates with 20s vocalists such as Irving Kaufman. Now Classics presents the full records as they were originally issued, with Bullock’s vocals, as they should have been issued originally. Hey, I wish I could cut out most of Mezz Mezzrow’s solos on various jazz recordings from the 20’s through the 40’s, but doing so is re-writing history.

…………………………….

While this 3-CD set was intended as a collection of rarities, allowing collectors to fill gaps in their exhaustive archives, it works incredibly well as a jazz sampler for the general audience too, and the material will certainly be fresh….even a Fletcher Henderson and Don Redman connoisseur such as yours truly had never heard, or heard of (I may have seen the Henderson ones listed in the Hendersonia Discography), the sessions here. If you can find this, grab it. Or if it’s online, go for it.

I won’t be parting with my copy anytime soon….

ADDENDUM….if you don’t have enough with the 1000+ albums on classics and this three-cd mopping-up set, there is an Austrian label called NEATWORK which collects, for a number of major jazz artists, the ALTERNATE TAKES, in chronological order, left off the Classics CD’s. Discogs lists between 40 and 50 CD’s on that label. The 10 cd’s of alternate Ellington are essential, as are the multiple volumes devoted to Benny Goodman, Fletcher Henderson, Teddy Wilson, and Eddie Condon. They’re probably ALL essential, but I had to focus on the ones most important to me, as these things cost money….

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