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Red Nichols & His Orchestra

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Album Review

Sam Lanin led literally hundreds of record sessions in the 1920s, playing music that fell between jazz and dance. He utilized cornetist Red Nichols on many of the dates, including the 16 numbers from 1926-28 (all but one from 1926-27) that are on this now-rare LP. The personnel is mostly unidentified, although in some cases it features trombonists Miff Mole, Abe Lincoln or Glenn Miler and altoist Jimmy Dorsey. Under a variety of pseudonyms (including the Melody Sheiks, the Arkansas Travelers, the Okeh Melodians and the New York Syncopators), Lanin is heard leading similarly enjoyable groups. The excellent recording quality (for the period) of these performances is an added plus.


Born: 08 May 1905 in Ogden, UT

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s

Overrated in Europe in the early '30s when his records (but not those of his black contemporaries) were widely available and then later underrated and often unfairly called a Bix imitator, Red Nichols was actually one of the finest cornetists to emerge from the '20s. An expert improviser whose emotional depth did not reach as deep as Bix or Louis Armstrong, Nichols was in many ways a hustler, participating in as many recording sessions (often under pseudonyms) as any other horn player of the era,...
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