Release Date: 04/04/06
Four for Fours
This collection covers the period 1927 to 1941. It illustrates that virtually any combination of four instrumentalists can provide us with some swinging and entertaining jazz. If one or more of the musicians doubles on an extra instrument or two, (e.g. Adrian Rollini, Sidney Bechet, Frankie Trumbauer, Buster Bailey, Hot Lips Page, Cecil Scott) the range is expanded considerably. There is also the occasional vocal, but in the main the instruments win. Some of the leading trumpet players of the pre-war jazz scene happen to have made records as part of a quartet, and these include Louis Armstrong. His one track on here was made when he and Sidney Bechet were reunited after many years. Louis sings an old favorite of his, remembering his days in New Orleans. Any American jazzman visiting France in the 1930s jumped at the chance to play and record with the great Django Reinhardt. Rex Stewart was one of these. With him are Barney Bigard and Duke Ellington's bassist of the time, Billy Taylor. Some of Bigard's finest work is on this session. Four of the titles are original compositions. When he gets on the Blues, don't mess with him, was Dizzy Gillespie's opinion of Hot Lips Page. We can hear this on the session Lips did with effective backing from Teddy Bunn, and Leonard Feather unobtrusively on piano. Lips doubles on mellophone and vocal, but gives one vocal to Teddy Bunn. From an earlier era we have Jabbo Smith. At the time a serious competitor to Louis, he is heard in an unconventional line-up under the title of The Louisiana Sugar Babes. With Fats Waller on organ, James P Johnson on piano, Gavin Bushell on bassoon, we hear two numbers from the revue 'Keep Shufflin'', and two new numbers. But this is just a taste. Here are jazzmen across the music's spectrum enjoying themselves in an environment where there's no hiding place for the second-rate.
|Label: Jsp Records|
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