Known for his Zoot suits, hep talk and hi-de-ho style, Cab Calloway was one of the major figures of early jazz, who, along with Louis Armstrong, elevated scat singing to great heights. Cab's style is interesting, as most of the great jazz figures of the age seem to have come form New Orlenas (Armstrong, Bechet, Biederbecke, etc), but Calloway came from Harlem, and his music and themes reflect this.
This great 4 CD box set collects together 94 tracks form the first 4 years of his career. They show his progression from bandleader covering mainly old standards, to the first success of `Minnie The Moocher', in which he found his own style and set the template for later recordings (many of which were virtual carbon copies of Minnie). Included along the way are definitive versions of `St James Infirmiary', and `You Rascal You'.
The tracks have been expertly remastered by R.T Davies, who also did the `Louis Armstrong Complete Hot Fives And Sevens' set. Once again he's done a great job, and these recordings sound as good as they have ever done. Included are short essays about Cab, and full personnel details.
Highly recommended for anyone with even the slightest interest in early jazz, and great scat singing. Also check out the previously mentioned Louis Armstrong set, I'd also recommend the Proper box sets of Bix Beiderbecke and Sidney Bechet.