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Unissued On 78's - Jazz & Hot Dance Music 1927 - 1931

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Audio CD (10 Jun. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Retrieval
  • ASIN: B00A85T55I
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 309,138 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

This is the type of set that collectors of 1920s jazz love. None of the 24 performances on the CD, which are programmed in chronological order, were originally released on 78s. While the majority of the performances have appeared on either LP or CD collections, some are making their first appearance on this release, including some alternate takes.

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Format: Audio CD
During the 78 era the object was to capture a recording in one take, but all sorts of factors conspired against its achievement. Sometimes by happy chance test pressings of the unissued takes were preserved, and this compilation gathers together an assortment of two dozen. As Chris Ellis candidly writes in his liner note, some of the tracks were issued on LP, and it's possible that a few may have been included on CD, but none were ever issued on 78, and quite a lot are seeing the light of day for the very first time.

It begins with two New Orleans recordings, which are not thick on the ground, and John Hyman & his Bayou Stompers cut just two sides for Victor in March 1927. Takes 2 & 4 were issued, and here are takes1 & 3, the quality of which makes you wonder why they needed the alternates. Bearing in mind that this was a field trip by the recording engineers, it's possible they were added as insurance. In any case, both numbers show great attention to detail, and are noteworthy not least for the inclusion of a harmonica player, and guitarist Nappy Lamare's recording debut.

Other so-called territory bands to be featured are Slim Lamar & his Southerners, recorded by Victor in Memphis, and Sunny Clapp & his Band o' Sunshine, who hailed from San Antonio but came to New York in 1931. Lamar plays a spirited version of "Goofus", which has overtones of Western Swing, as has "Sadness Will be Gladness" which is also shown as by Lamar, but was in fact recorded a week later under the leadership of Mart Britt. One of the two Sonny Clapp numbers features a vocal by Hoagy Carmichael.

Jack Pettis & his Pets recorded four numbers in May 1929, three of which were rejected, but the third take of each was subsequently located.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE ONES THAT NEARLY GOT AWAY 2 Dec. 2012
By Barry McCanna - Published on Amazon.com
During the 78 era the object was to capture a recording in one take, but all sorts of factors conspired against its achievement. Sometimes by happy chance test pressings of the unissued takes were preserved, and this compilation gathers together an assortment of two dozen. As Chris Ellis candidly writes in his liner note, some of the tracks were issued on LP, and it's possible that a few may have been included on CD, but none were ever issued on 78, and quite a lot are seeing the light of day for the very first time.

It begins with two New Orleans recordings, which are not thick on the ground, and John Hyman & his Bayou Stompers cut just two sides for Victor in March 1927. Takes 2 & 4 were issued, and here are takes1 & 3, the quality of which makes you wonder why they needed the alternates. Bearing in mind that this was a field trip by the recording engineers, it's possible they were added as insurance. In any case, both numbers show great attention to detail, and are noteworthy not least for the inclusion of a harmonica player, and guitarist Nappy Lamare's recording debut.

Other so-called territory bands to be featured are Slim Lamar & his Southerners, recorded by Victor in Memphis, and Sunny Clapp & his Band o' Sunshine, who hailed from San Antonio but came to New York in 1931. Lamar plays a spirited version of "Goofus", which has overtones of Western Swing, as has "Sadness Will be Gladness" which is also shown as by Lamar, but was in fact recorded a week later under the leadership of Mart Britt. One of the two Sonny Clapp numbers features a vocal by Hoagy Carmichael.

Jack Pettis & his Pets recorded four numbers in May 1929, three of which were rejected, but the third take of each was subsequently located. It's a mystery why they were withheld in the first place, given the quality of musicianship by a studio group that included Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Matty Malneck, Lennie Hayton and Dick McDonough.

Miff Mole & his Little Molers made a series of well-known recordings between 1927 and 1930; the final session for the Okeh label saw them cut two numbers with vocals by Scrappy Lambert, then record them again as instrumentals. The first take of both was issued, and Chris Ellis came across the unissued second takes many years ago. These are stellar performances, not least for the presence of Adrian Rollini, undisputed master of the bass saxophone. He crops up also on a 1928 recording by Fred Elizalde & his Music, of which only one take appears to have been made, and never issued except in a limited edition CD. Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the inclusion of an alternate take of a 1930 recording of "Deep Down South" by Bix Beiderbecke & his Orchestra.

It would be a truism to say that this is a collection of extreme rarities. Any one of these test pressings would set you back many times the price of this CD, and sound quality would be markedly inferior, thanks to Harry Coster, whose audio restoration is impeccable.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A treasure trove of musical rarities 24 Mar. 2015
By "Gimpy" Peach Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This first volume in Retrieval's "Unissued on 78s" series is chock-full of musical gems. If you're looking at this, you hardly need convincing of the musical worthiness: John Hyman's Bayou Stompers, Snooks' Memphis Stompers, Jean Goldkette, Slim Lamar, Jack Pettis, Miff Mole, the Dorsey Brothers, Fred Elizalde, Sunny Clapp, Bix Beiderbecke... all top-drawer musicians. In most cases, these are "alternative" takes to those commercially issued back in the '20s and early '30s. In some cases, though, this CD offers titles that weren't issued at all, such as Jack Pettis's "Companionate Blues" and "Wild and Wooly Willie." For any collector into pop and jazz of that era, this is a generous helping of drool-worthy stuff! Since most of these recordings are unobtainable elsewhere, I would recommend this in a heartbeat. For the alternative take of Slim Lamar's "Goofus" alone, it's money well spent.

Why four stars? Several reasons:

1. The sound work by Harry Coster is generally very good, but not without avoidable flaws. Most of the records are pitched correctly, but some are a semitone off. A number of the records sound like they come from vinyl test pressings, and those generally sound the best: open, clear, and full with no audible trace of digital interference -- it's almost like having the pressing on my own turntable! Excellent! In a few cases, though, the records sound muddied by over-processing. "I'm Glad" was first issued on CD by Nick Dellow on the "Influence of Bix Beiderbecke" 2-CD set a few years ago. The producers of this Retrieval disc acknowledge the earlier reissue and thank Dellow for permitting its re-issue here. Why, then, does the Retrieval version sound significantly worse? The initial Dellow transfer sounded great, but here it has undergone additional heavy-handed noise reduction that results in a murky "underwater" sound. In other cases, even when Coster's restorations sound o.k., there are inexplicable sudden volume drops towards the ends of songs. ("Campus Crawl" drops a couple dB at 3:14, for example.)

2. Another source of mild annoyance is the producers' apparent refusal to proofread their own work before sending the CD to press. From matrix numbers that are missing digits to misspellings to missing vocalist credits to an overabundance of misused apostrophes, I spotted perhaps a dozen typographical errors in the first five minutes of picking up the booklet. Sadly, this is par for the course with Retrieval. Would it kill them to have an extra set of eyes look over these things before going to press?

3. Finally, while Chris Ellis notes that some records on this CD have been previously reissued on LP or CD, the undercurrent is that to his knowledge, *most* have never been on CD before. That's true. But I'm a bit surprised that he didn't acknowledge the previous CD reissue of Bix's "Deep Down South" [Take 1] from the well-known "Bix Restored" series. He mentions that the take was "only been available briefly on LP many years ago."

Also, let me point out that the take of "Just Imagine" heard here (labeled as take 5) is the same as the one appearing on the Timeless CD "Jean Goldkette Bands 1924-1929" and labeled there as either take 1 or take 2. Who is right? I don't know... But for what it's worth, the sound on this Retrieval CD is an improvement over the Timeless disc. As a side note here: Chris Ellis writes that there is no trumpet obbligato behind Greta Woodson's vocal on "Just Imagine." Is he listening to the same recording? It's impossible to miss Andy Secrest's blazing trumpet behind the vocal! Or perhaps he was listening to the "real" take 5 and the producers somehow substituted a different take before the disc went to press? So many questions...

Despite the flaws, this is a disc well worth having. Retrieval has now issued five of these "Unissued on 78s" compilations. I, for one, hope there will be many more.
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