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FROGSPAWN - The White Hot Batch

FROGSPAWN - The White Hot Batch
CD / Product Number: DGF76

This third volume follows in the footsteps of its illustrious predecessors and contains red hot jazz rarities, alternate takes, sleepers and unissued masters, selected from 1920s recordings by US white bands. Most collectors will know some of these bands, but not many will have heard of them all, and fewer still will own more than a smattering of the recordings. As Max Easterman comments, in his excellent liner note, such recordings generally receive less attention than those by their black counterparts, but the quality of the music is in no way inferior. In fact, on the evidence presented here, white groups of the time tended to be more adventurous, not only in their employment of advanced harmonics but also unusual instruments (of which heckelphone, euphonium, mellophone and reserphone all feature here).
Many of the tunes played here are jazz standards, and vocals are in the minority, but soloists sparkle throughout. The Berlyn Baylor Orchestra's recordings of Riverboat Shuffle and Copenhagen provide an excellent opener for what is to follow, with solos showing an allegiance to the playing style of Red Nichols and Miff Mole, and some fine percussion. Those two worthies turn up on Ross Gorman's version of 'Sidewalk Blues' which to begin with owes little to the composer, but finally reveals its Morton origin. Miff Mole reappears on Bert Lown's 'Jazz Me Blues' and 'Tampeekoe' by the OM5, and shades of Red are reflected in the Nichols piece 'Trumpet Sobs' by George McMurphey.
Bass saxophonist Adrian Rollini is the only musician who's been identified on 'Minor Gaff' which has been dubbed from a test pressing. Another band cloaked in obscurity is Bud Ritchie and his Boys, who put in rhythmic performances of 'Rockin' Chair' and 'Slappin' the Bass'. The QRS recording of 'Fireworks' by The New Yorkers is equally frustrating, being a superb recording by unknown musicians. The earliest recording is Willard Robison's 'The Rhythm Rag' from late 1924, on the rare Autograph label, followed in December by two hard-driving numbers by the obscure Art Payne. 'Mellophone Stomp' by Ken Moyer's Novelty Trio is noteworthy for the presence of Fred Rich on piano and Ray Bauduc on drums, and the sheer variety of sound conjured up by the leader, which elevates it from novelty number to virtuoso display.
When the Sage of Hull framed his putative Law of Reissues, to which I referred when reviewing the first volume, he added that everything worthwhile gets reissued about every five years. Well, he got that wrong, because for most of these tracks this is their first reissue, and yet these are eminently suitable candidates for digital remastering. In which connection it's pertinent to mention again the wonders wrought by Nick Dellow, working from rare and often less-than-perfect copies. In short, this is a wonderful compilation of esoterica, which will gratify the discerning collector, and astound the casual purchaser.


Berlyn Baylor Orchestra
1 Clarinet Marmalade
2 Riverboat Shuffle
Elmer Schoebel and His Friar's Society Orchestra
3 Prince Of Wails
4 Copenhagen
New Orleans Owls
5 Oh Me! Oh My! No1
Willard Robison's Deep River Four
6 Rhythm Rag
Goofus Five
7 Blue Baby No B
California Ramblers
8 I Ain't Got Nobody No3
Art Payne And His Orchestra
9 Blue Night
10 Jo-Anne
Ross Gorman And His Virginians
11 You're Burning Me Up (Turning Me Down)
Unknown Band (with Adrian Rollini)
12 Minor Gaff
Bud Ritchie and His Boys
13 Rockin' Chair
14 Slappin' The Bass
The New Yorkers
15 Fireworks
Bert Lown and His Loungers
16 Jazz Me Blues
Lew Weiner's Gold and Black Aces
17 Louisiana Bo Bo
18 The Merry Widow's Got A Sweetie Now
Original Memphis Five
19 Tampeeko No 2
George McMurphy and His Orchestra
20 Trumpet Sobs
Ken Moyer's Novelty Trio
21 Mellophone Stomp
Brad Gowans' Rhapsody Makers
22 I'll Fly To Hawaii
23 Sunny Hawaii
24 I'm Looking Over A Four-Leaf Clover
Julie Wintz and His Mayflower Orchestra
25 After You've Gone