70 Hits : Bix Beiderbecke
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In 2006 Primo brought out a 40-track collection entitled The Art of Bix Beiderbecke. Loosely covering a time span extending from June 20, 1924 to May 21, 1930, this pleasantly jumbled portrait touches briefly upon Bix's early work with the Wolverine Orchestra and the Sioux City Six; revisits his collaborations with C melody saxophonist Frankie Trumbauer, and stirs in examples of Beiderbecke leading his Rhythm Jugglers, his Gang and his Orchestra. Also included is evidence of Bix's adventures as a member of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra and two titles — "Rockin' Chair" and "Barnacle Bill the Sailor" — recorded at what turned out to be the second to last session Bix would ever participate in. Already ill and seated in a chair, he blew his cornet alongside trumpeter Bubber Miley, another brilliant musician whose life and career would soon be snuffed out by alcoholism. This group, led by vocalist Hoagy Carmichael, also included trombonist Tommy Dorsey, clarinetist Benny Goodman, tenor saxophonist Bud Freeman, violinist Joe Venuti, guitarist Eddie Lang, drummer Gene Krupa and featured vocals (on "Barnacle Bill") by a gruff-voiced character named Carson Robison. Stepping back and admiring Primo's The Art of Bix Beiderbecke as a dizzy blend of classic jazz recordings cut over a transitional six year period, it seems like an excellent way to listen to highlights from the Beiderbecke legacy. The other way to do it is to consult tidier, better organized, chronologically stacked "Bixologies." The more casual method, in this case, works nicely even if it gives the listener no sense whatsoever of a temporal stylistic progression. That is clearly not what the folks at Primo had in mind.
Born: 10 March 1903 in Davenport, IA
Years Active: '20s, '30s