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Red McKenzie, Vol. II

Red McKenzie

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Album Review

Red McKenzie is one of the shadowy figures in jazz history, too pop to be taken seriously by modern jazz heads, yet pivotal in his historical place. His spasm band turned small combo, the Mound City Blue Blowers, made jazzy records with top-notch soloists while McKenzie crooned and blew a kazoo in a lyrical style on these sides. This 24-track collection brings together recordings from 1935 to 1937 and features the likes of Eddie Condon, Bunny Berigan, and Bobby Hackett on some truly fun pop tunes with a strong jazz bent to all of them. Transfers are wonderfully clean and the booklet notes by Digby Fairweather are exhaustive and really bring the story of this quirky music home. A wonderful set.

Biography

Born: October 14, 1899 in St. Louis, MO

Genre: Jazz

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

Red McKenzie was virtually jazz's only comb player, putting tissue paper on a comb and making sounds on his "instrument" similar to a kazoo. McKenzie was quite effective playing his "ax," often more so than when he sang sentimental ballads. In 1924, he formed the Mound City Blue Blowers, a trio with Jack Bland on banjo or guitar and Dick Slevin on kazoo. The group was quite popular for a few years, recording a dozen titles (two with guest Frankie Trumbauer and the last six with Eddie Lang making...
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Red McKenzie, Vol. II, Red McKenzie
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