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The Best of Eddie Condon (1930-1944) [Live]

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Album Review

This budget two-LP set (which inexcusably has no liner notes nor even a personnel listing) contains about one hour of music, 20 three-minute selections from Eddie Condon's period with the Decca label. Although the music is not necessarily the best, there are many fine solos and plenty of freewheeling ensembles. The all-star groups include such classic players as trumpeters Bobby Hackett, Billy Butterfield, Max Kaminsky, Wild Bill Davison and Johnny Windhurst, trombonists Jack Teagarden, Cutty Cutshall (who takes a rare vocal on "Everybody Loves My Baby"') and Brad Gowans, clarinetists Pee Wee Russell, Peanuts Hucko, Joe Dixon, Edmond Hall and Tony Parenti, Bud Freeman on tenor, baritonist Ernie Caceres, pianists Gene Schroeder, Ralph Sutton and James P. Johnson, bassists Bob Haggart and Jack Lesberg and drummers George Wettling, Buzzy Drootin and Dave Tough; Bing Crosby even drops by to sing "After You've Gone."


Born: November 16, 1905 in Goodland, IN

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

A major propagandist for freewheeling Chicago jazz, an underrated rhythm guitarist, and a talented wisecracker, Eddie Condon's main importance to jazz was not so much through his own playing as in his ability to gather together large groups of all-stars and produce exciting, spontaneous, and very coherent music. Condon started out playing banjo with Hollis Peavey's Jazz Bandits when he was 17, he worked with members of the famed Austin High School Gang in the 1920s, and in 1927 he co-led (with Red...
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