Jazz » Retrospective
An exuberant collection of the best of Louis Prima (1911-1978), this hugely entertaining pair of CDs shows just why he was one of the favourite entertainers of the last century. New Orleans-born Prima, the son of Italian immigrants, was one of the last century’s most irresistible performers. Like his idol Louis Armstrong, he was a fine trumpeter, singer, bandleader and extrovert entertainer. His inspirational trumpet style, self-taught, was based on ... [MORE]
Retrospective presents a new double album devoted to one of the most distinctive and innovative trombonists of them all: Vic Dickenson. The 34 tracks, all definitive examples of his art, give a career summary from his first recording in 1930 (as a singer!) through to the 1961 solo, Vic’s Spot. In between Vic plays with many of the jazz greats of the 40s and 50s: Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Sidney De Paris, Bobby Hackett, Pee Wee Russell, Eddie Condon ... [MORE]
Taking New York's 'A' Train to Duke Ellington's Harlem office inspired pianist-composer-arranger-lyricist Billy Strayhorn (1915-1967) to create his most famous work, signalling the start of a 27 year-long collaboration with the Duke. With Lush Life, Retrospective celebrates the centenary of this relatively unsung jazz genius, who notewriter Digby Fairweather describes as one of jazz music's most prodigious yet obscured talents. This unique ... [MORE]
It was because of his popularity with the girls that Lester Young gave Harry Edison (1915-1999) the nickname 'Sweets'. But, as notewriter Digby Fairweather comments, beneath the sweetness lay a jazz conqueror who created his own starry place in the jazz firmament – and his legacy is here on Retrospective’s Edison Inventions. He may never have achieved the innovative multiplicities of his forefather Thomas. But what he did invent was what every jazz ... [MORE]
Adding to Retrospective’s growing roster of great jazz trumpeters is this, the finest 2CDset available devoted to the career of one of the all-time great jazz entertainers, one-armed trumpeter Wingy Manone. The New Orleans trumpeter, Joseph 'Wingy' Manone (1904-1982) was one of those rare artists who overcame physical disability to reach the very top. Despite losing his right arm in a road accident as a child, he became one of the finest front-line ... [MORE]
Another superb jazz release from Retrospective, this time celebrating the centenary of that great jazz trombonist George Chisholm (1914-1997), the 'Gentleman of Jazz'. Many remember him primarily as a TV entertainer on such as The Black and White Minstrel Show, yet Europe has produced few jazz masters to rival him. Disc one (1937-1944) of our 2CD survey presents George from his very first studio session as a trombonist (with Gerry Moore in 1937), through ... [MORE]
Another superb jazz release from Retrospective! Trombonist Wilbur De Paris (1900-1973) had a long apprenticeship, with Duke Ellington among others, before he was able to express his own ideas with his own band, but his golden years of the 50s, enshrined on these two Retrospective CDs, genuinely extended the boundaries of traditional jazz. For him, jazz was never history it was a living art and as hot as mustard. His New Orleans Jazz was always “New”. From ... [MORE]
Magnificent Muggsy! Another of the all-time greats of jazz trumpet is added to the Retrospective roster. Inspired by King Oliver, Chicago-born Francis Joseph Julian “Muggsy” Spanier (1901–1967) developed a unique sound for his cornet playing – especially a wonderful skill with mutes – and a lusty, driving lead to his Dixieland-style bands. Relaxin’ At The Touro (his tribute to the doctor who saved his life in 1938 at the Touro Infirmary) has been taken as ... [MORE]
A great introduction to one of the finest of all jazz trumpeters. Henry 'Red' Allen (1908-1967) was described as the last great trumpeter to come out of New Orleans. A unique artist, he was, along with Louis Armstrong, the outstanding stylist of the 30s for his instrument, and won a high reputation as a close rival to Armstrong. His hard-hitting style really swung with an irresistibly fierce drive. He splayed his solos across bar-lines with the ... [MORE]
Critics may not have allowed cornettist Ernest Loring 'Red' Nichols (1905-1965) the genius of an Armstrong or a Beiderbecke but, apart from being a magnificent player, he was a unique catalyst and under his leadership, his celebrated Five Pennies created some of the finest 'white jazz' of all time.
Uniquely, Retrospective offers both sides of The Five Pennies. Disc One collects together 26 glorious originals from Red Nichols’ vintage years of ... [MORE]
Retrospective celebrates the centenary of 'Mad Mab' – the saxophonist bandleader Charlie Barnet (1913-1991) – with a superb double CD selection of his great band in full flight during its finest years. He led one of the very best big bands of the 40s. A millionaire playboy, he lived riotously and married, it is said, 11 times. But musically he would not compromise he always got his way, as in his pioneering employment of black musicians in a 1930s white ... [MORE]
A superb two-CD survey of one of jazz’ all-time greats, Lionel Hampton – the virtuoso of the vibes. Lionel Hampton (1908-2002) was a true giant of jazz, aflamboyant showman who was an indefatigable bandleader, drummer, pianist, singer and, above all, the most famous vibraphone player in jazz history – the first to use it as other than a novelty.
Retrospective’s tribute Flying Home (his band’s signature tune) offers well over one-and-a-half hours of ... [MORE]
The definitive album of wartime nostalgia: 20 forces' sweethearts and 21 of their heart-throb male counterparts sing 50 great songs, mostly on the theme of parted lovers.
For all the soldiers, sailors and airmen parted from their loved ones during World War II, solace was provided by the nostalgic yearnings typical of the wartime recordings made by the 20 forces' sweethearts featured on disc one of this unique collection. Here are 23 great songs, full ... [MORE]
A magnificent double CD celebrates the artistry of the greatest jazz trombonist of them all, with a summary of his very finest work from 1928 to 1954.
The name of 'Big T', Texan Jack Teagarden (1905-1964), is a two-word definition of jazz trombone. He was indisputably the greatest trombone soloist in jazz history, setting a new standard in the 20s and creating a totally new approach. With his lazy Texan drawl, Teagarden was almost equally revered as ... [MORE]
The definitive album of wartime nostalgia - 20 forces' sweethearts and 21 of their heart-throb male counterparts sing 50 great songs, mostly on the theme of parted lovers.
For all the soldiers, sailors and airmen parted from their loved ones during World War II, solace was provided by the nostalgic yearnings typical of the wartime recordings made by the 20 forces' sweethearts featured on disc one of this unique collection. Here are 23 great songs, ... [MORE]
Here is the most famous jazz drummer of them all, Gene Krupa, in a superb double CD retrospective of his phenomenal career.
The name Gene Krupa (1909-1973) is synonymous with a driving drum style and dynamic showmanship, qualitiesthat made the Chicago-born drummer one of the musical giants of the Swing Era. Behind his flamboyant public image was a serious and self-disciplined musician who created some of the great jazz of the period. Drummin' ... [MORE]
Children of all ages cannot fail to respond to this extraordinary collection of 48 childhood favourites from half a century ago, all with the original artists.
Listening to ‘Children’s Favourites’ was a Saturday morning ritual for millions in those unsophisticated, far off days of innocence, and – younever know – perhaps even today’s youngster might still be as entranced as his parents and grandparents were by this remarkable collection of 48 vintage ... [MORE]
Cornettist Leon Bismark 'Bix' Beiderbecke (1903-1931) was a classic jazz innovator of iconic status. His appallingly early death at only 28, after a mere six years’ recording career, has led to much romantically-assembled myth and legend as the archetypal troubled creator whose gifts are terminated too soon by life’s cruelties. But it was of course his music that came first. That, as this collection conclusively illustrates, is where the story really ... [MORE]
In this double CD set we are presenting the best big-band work from the man who was arguably the greatest jazz clarinettist in the world – ever! Even the most devout followers of his principle rival, Artie Shaw, are regularly forced to admit that in terms of technique, inspiration and sheer excitement Benny Goodman bettered everyone. This 2 CD set is a selection of his big band classics so definitive that weathered Goodman aficionados will ruefully wish ... [MORE]
Here we have Humph's 52 finest recordings over 2 CDs. The first covers the early years, 1948-1952, while the second deals with 1953-1957. Full details inside. [MORE]
Here is the only CD available spotlighting the artistry of one of the greatest of all jazz clarinettists, Irving Fazola - the best white clarinet player from New Orleans. The great clarinettist Irving Prestopnick (1912-1949) became Fazola (from the tonic sol-far: Fah-Soh-Lah) or simply 'Faz'. With his graceful phrasing and warm, liquid tone, he could only have come from New Orleans. This huge man, with his essentially melodic style owing something to ... [MORE]
Following on from the pioneering Johnny Windhurst CD (RTR 4316), a 'Record of the Year', Retrospective presents more buried jazz treasure with The Big Horn Of Little T. Another rewarding collaboration with trumpeter Digby Fairweather, this one throws the spotlight onto the man Jimmy Dorsey called The most under-rated trumpeter in the world: Charlie Teagarden, and this is the first ever CD devoted to his artistry.
It may have been a mixed ... [MORE]
Retrospective offers a cavalcade of, arguably, the 24 greatest vintage jazz clarinettists from the first 45 years of recorded jazz history. From Larry Shields and the Original Dixieland Jazz Band in 1918 through to the peerless George Lewis in Burgundy Street Blues in 1962, a representative performance from each clarinet master has been carefully selected. Seldom could a jazz history lesson pass by so enjoyably as you sample the widely varying playing ... [MORE]
Following on from the pioneering Dick Cathcart CD (RTR 4308), Retrospective presents more buried jazz treasure with The Imaginative Johnny Windhurst. Of the label’s many rewarding Digby Fairweather collaborations, this one performs the greatest service in throwing the spotlight on a relatively little-known musician of unsurpassed brilliance, yet who seldom visited the recording studio. New York-born Johnny Windhurst (1926-1981) was playing alongside ... [MORE]
Here is the best single CD selection available of John Kirby’s famous 6-piece group, creating one of the most popular and distinctive jazz styles of the early 40s. John Kirby (1908-1952) is the first double-bass player to head a Retrospective album. He was indeedthe most accomplished bassist on the jazz scene of the late 30s and early 40s, with a light, subtle sound and a superior technique to his contemporaries. But his biggest claim to fame was as the ... [MORE]