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Bix Beiderbecke With Jean Goldkette's Orchestra 1924-1927

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Album Review

It's been said that Bix Beiderbecke was unusually happy during his involvement with the Jean Goldkette Orchestra during 1926 and 1927 when the group operated under the direction of C melody saxophonist Frankie Trumbauer. If you want to hear exactly how and why Bix felt so comfortable in that particular band, listen to the instrumental "My Pretty Girl" with the volume cranked up, then listen to it once again. This was a fantastically great dance band that toured around making people happy with real jazz. Unfortunately, whenever they went to make records they had to contend with Victor A&R director Edward T. King, who imposed lukewarm material and puerile vocalists upon them. The first time Bix tried to record with Goldkette (in Detroit on November 24, 1924), he only blew his horn on "I Didn't Know." Bix and the band waxed five takes, which were all rejected by King. About 40 years after it was recorded, a presentable platter was unearthed and has been passed around ever since as the lone example of the way this unit sounded with Bix in the mix back in 1924. In 2003 Challenge Records brought out a fabulous edition combining "I Didn't Know" and 14 sides from 1926-1927 with ten alternate takes, which are presented on the home stretch of the disc rather than doubled up in sequence. This enables the listener to groove through the main body of work and revisit some of the tunes in a progression that could work well as an endless loop for those who are possessed by the desire to join Beiderbecke in the eternal present moment of his days with Goldkette's orchestra.


Born: 10 March 1903 in Davenport, IA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s

Bix Beiderbecke was one of the greatest jazz musicians of the 1920s. His colorful life, quick rise and fall, and eventual status as a martyr made him a legend even before he died, and he has long stood as proof that not all the innovators in jazz history were black. Possessor of a beautiful, distinctive tone and a strikingly original improvising style, Beiderbecke's only competitor among cornetists in the '20s was Louis Armstrong but (due to their different sounds and styles) one really could not...
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