Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Record a Week: Herwin Records Presents - Dixieland Jazz Classics (1917-1928)

DIXIELAND JAZZ BAND ONE-STEP(Original Dixieland 'Jass' Band
MEMPHIS GLIDE(Original Memphis Five)
MOBILE BLUES(The Bucktown Five)
SAN SUE STRUT(Arcadian Serenaders
THAT'S NO BARGAIN(Red Nichols and his Five Pennies)
BIG BOY(The Wolverines)
AT THE JAZZ BAND BALL(Bix Beiderbecke and his Gang)
SAN(Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra)

DIPPER MOUTH BLUES(King Oliver's Creole Band)
MUSKRAT RAMBLE(Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five)
WEST END BLUES(Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five)
BLACK BOTTOM STOMP(Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers)
KANSAS CITY STOMP(Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers)
KATER STREET RAG(Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra)
HERE COMES THE HOT TAMALE MAN(Doc Cook and his Dreamland Orchestra)
ROCKY MOUNTAIN BLUES(Fletcher Henderson and his Orchestra)

Much of dixieland sounds like the soundtrack to a silent film to me. Specifically the type where the characters move around very choppily and slap their faces in an exaggerated way and there are breaks between scenes that say 'I don't care how she votes I'm still going to marry her' (Buster Keaton in The Scarecrow). Perhaps that's because this was the style of music that coincided with the time of silent films. Either way, it's not just silent films that come to mind when listening to this music. Flappers, bobs, the Charleston, prohibition, speakeasies and many other things that happened in the first world war and post-war era.

If you didn't know that this album was a collection, you may think that it was the chronicle of one artist. The only real difference being the quality of the recording improves over time. The one notable difference on the album is Louis Armstrong, who adds a bit of the progressive jazz style that jump started his solo career. He also adds some of his signature vocals to the mix, something that most, if not all of the other groups did not do.

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