Red Nichols & His Five Pennies 1926-1930
Red Nichols & His Five Pennies
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Here's a well-put-together sampler of hot jazz records made by Red Nichols & His Five Pennies between December 1926 and October 1930. Note the presence of reedman Jimmy Dorsey alongside trombone ace Miff Mole, premiere pianist Arthur Schutt; string players Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang, and Dick McDonough, and tuba titan Joe Tarto. Further woodwind support materializes in the persons of Pee Wee Russell, Fud Livingston, Adrian Rollini, and Bud Freeman. As the chronology reaches 1929 and 1930, the Five Pennies magically grow larger — as many as 13 pieces — and promising young men like Jack Teagarden, Glenn Miller, and Benny Goodman began to strut their stuff. This excellent overview includes a couple of vocals; "Sheik of Araby" gets the spicy treatment from Jack Teagarden, and Dick Robertson does a number on "I Got Rhythm." But most of these tunes cook in ways that render lyrics entirely unnecessary.
I will rate one song on this album because I am very familiar with it. "China Boy" was the theme for a public access show in St. Louis called Worldwide Magazine produced, written and conceived by Pete Parisi, also known as PEP. This is one of the best jazz arrangements of this song, or any other jazz song from this era. If you only buy one song from this album make it "China Boy," you won't be sorry.
Want a great typical "Jazz Age" Collection -- This is It!
I can think of no better audio collection to "bookend" the Jazz age that is album. This is the sound of the radio of the 1920s. It has that carefree feeling that catches the phrase of the the flapper era, i.e. "Take it easy." Oh, the other bookend of the era? Anything by Annette Hanshaw!
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