Although one thinks of New York, Chicago, and possibly Kansas City and Los Angeles as major jazz centers in the 1920s, jazz was actually everywhere once records started becoming well-distributed. The 24 selections on this excellent CD were recorded in Dallas, Houston, or San Antonio, TX. Featured are a variety of top territory bands: Jimmy Joy's St. Anthony's Hotel Orchestra, Lloyd Finlay, Fatty Martin, Irene Taylor, Randolph McCurtain's College Ramblers, Troy Floyd's Plaza Hotel Orchestra, Leroy's Dallas Band, and Fred Gardner's Texas University Troubadours. Nearly all of the sidemen are quite obscure, but Troy Floyd's band has solos by trumpeter Don Albert and (on the two-part "Dreamland Blues") future Count Basie tenor saxophonist Herschel Evans. Little-known but valuable and enjoyable vintage music.
Throughout much of the 20th century, Benny Carter was an accomplished composer, arranger, leader, sideman, and multi-instrumentalist. In 2004 the U.K.'s Proper label served his memory well with Proper Box 68 which carefully examines a 22-year segment from his unusually lengthy career. If a reasonably priced 88-track, four-CD set of swing and early modern mainstream jazz dating from 1930-1952 seems like too much of a good thing, maybe you really need to hear more jazz and not less, for here in the land of its birth we still have a lot of catching up to do in order to better comprehend this important part of our cultural heritage…
Singing trombonist Jack Teagarden came up in the jazz and dance bands of his native Texas and the surrounding territories. By the end of the '20s he was making noise with the Eddie Condon mob in New York City, where the South-and-Midwesterners quickly learned that authentic, New Orleans-Chicago-styled jazz could be performed in public if you didn't need to eat more than one meal per day. The paying gigs were with society dance bands, and Teagarden made ends meet during the first half of 1930 by serving in the brass sections of orchestras under the direction of Ben Selvin and Sam Lanin, as well as the toothpowder and toothpaste-affiliated Ipana Troubadours. This type of economic problem solving would lead to his being contractually tethered to the Paul Whiteman Orchestra during the years 1933-1939. In 2006, the Jazz Oracle label released a thrilling 25-track collection of recordings that document Teagarden's professional activity during the first grueling months of the Great Depression.
Also known as Hai Tang, this exotic melodrama was filmed in both German and English-language versions. The title character, played by Anna May Wong, is a dancer in pre-Revolutionary Russia. Hay Tang is offered a life of luxury by a powerful Russian Grand Duke, but she turns him down, preferring the love of a lowly lieutenant in the Imperial army. The Grand Duke responds by threatening dire consequences for the lieutenant, whereupon Hay Tang finds herself on the horns of a dilemma.
VA - A Time To Remember 1930-1939: 10 CDs each one including an exclusive 20-track music compilation of original hit recordings by the original artists.
Ma Delano (La Verne) runs a boardwalk penny arcade, living upstairs with her sons (Cagney and Gallagher) and daughter (Knapp). Story involves rum running, accidental murder and a frame-up.
This is an English language film (made in America) adapted from a novel by German author Erich Maria Remarque. The film follows a group of German schoolboys, talked into enlisting at the beginning of World War 1 by their jingoistic teacher. The story is told entirely through the experiences of the young German recruits and highlights the tragedy of war through the eyes of individuals. As the boys witness death and mutilation all around them, any preconceptions about "the enemy" and the "rights and wrongs" of the conflict disappear, leaving them angry and bewildered. This is highlighted in the scene where Paul mortally wounds a French soldier and then weeps bitterly as he fights to save his life while trapped in a shell crater with the body. The film is not about heroism but about drudgery and futility and the gulf between the concept of war and the actuality.