Sunday, December 20, 2015

So Rare 2 A second selection by Barry Humphries of his favourite gramophone records and songs

If you enjoyed the first instalment in this series (see previous post here) then this second volume will please you even more. 51 tracks of classic nostalgia from the 1920's, 30's and 40's with artists such as Anne Shelton, Bing Crosby, Kay Thompson, Greta Keller, Dick Todd, "Hutch", Chick Henderson, Comedy Harmonists, Al Bowlly, Fats Waller and a host of others.

So wind up that gramophone, sit back in your favourite armchair in front of an open fire, and just cast yourself back to those times when these tunes were the hits of their day.

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Monday, December 7, 2015

Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti 1920's and 1930's Sides Volumes One and Two

Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti were masters of their instruments (guitar and violin, respectively). They were pioneers in the "string swing" type of jazz, almost a decade before Django and Stephane Grappelli started doing it over in France (admitting to have been influenced by Lang and Venuti). Only a few of the selections on these two discs are popular tunes of the day, most of the others are compositions of those performing (and it's not just Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang--we also hear Jimmy Dorsey, Frankie Trumbauer, Rube Bloom, Adrian Rollini, and some others on some of the "Blue Four" tracks). These recordings were ahead of their time, and they hold up remarkably well today.

Thanks to the excellent remastering by John R. T. Davies, the recordings sound fresher than other re-issues. Joe Venuti's high-pitched harmonics come through sparkling clear as a bell, and Adrian Rollini's bass sax is so warm and rounded, it's the best thing we have to hearing the group perform live. Most of the tracks on the disc have the same overall texture. If you like one, you'll like 'em all. 

Disc: 1
  1. Black And Blue Bottom - Eddie Lang/Joe Venuti
  2. Stringing The Blues - Eddie Lang/Joe Venuti
  3. Stringing The Blues - Eddie Lang/Joe Venuti
  4. Wild Cat - Eddie Lang/Joe Venuti
  5. Sunshine - Eddie Lang/Joe Venuti
  6. Doin' Things - Eddie Lang/Joe Venuti/Arthur Schutt
  7. Goin Places - Eddie Lang/Joe Venuti/Arthur Schutt
  8. Kickin' The Cat
  9. Beatin' The Dog
  10. Cheese And Crackers
  11. A Mug Of Ale
  12. Penn Beach Blues - Joe Venuti/Don Murray/Frank Signorelli/Eddie Lang/Justin Ring
  13. Four String Joe - Joe Venuti/Don Murray/Frank Signorelli/Eddie Lang/Justin Ring
  14. Dinah
  15. The Wild Dog
  16. The Man From The South
  17. Pretty Trix
  18. Doin' Things
  19. Wild Cat
  20. The Blue Room
  21. A Sensation

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Disc: 2
  1. My Honey's Lovin' Arms
  2. Goin' Home
  3. Runnin' Ragged (Bamboozlin' The Bassoon)
  4. Apple Blossoms
  5. Raggin' The Scale
  6. Put And Take
  7. Put And Take
  8. The Wild Dog
  9. Really Blue
  10. I've Found A New Baby
  11. Sweet Sue-Just You
  12. Pardon Me Pretty Baby
  13. Little Girl
  14. Little Buttercup (I'll Never Be The Same)
  15. Tempi Di Modernage
  16. There's No Other Girl - Joe Venuti's Rhythm Boys
  17. Now That I Need You You're Gone - Joe Venuti's Rhythm Boys
  18. The Wolf Wobble - Joe Venuti's Rhythm Boys
  19. To To Blues - Joe Venuti's Rhythm Boys
  20. Doin' Things - Joe Venuti's Rhythm Boys
  21. Wild Cat - Joe Venuti's Rhythm Boys

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