Jazz became known in Europe when the Original Dixieland Jazz Band caused a sensation in England in 1919. Throughout the 1920s, many American jazz musicians visited Europe where they found work plentiful and liquor which was illegal in the United States during Prohibition) flowing easily.
This CD features European recording sessions by five different groups that include Americans. Trumpeter Frank Guarante had recorded impressive jazz sessions during 1922-23 in the U.S. with the Georgians. In Switzerland in 1926, his six selections for the very rare Kalophone label balance some hot jazz with dance music and are pleasant enough. Guarante is actually in better form and much more featured on the seven titles (including two versions of “Sugar Foot Stomp”) with the Devonshire Restaurant Dance Band, showing what he learned from King Oliver when he was in New Orleans.
The Plantation Orchestra, a show band that includes both Johnny Dunn and Pike Davis on trumpets, sounds fine on four numbers that include some hot ensembles and concise solos. Eddie South, the second significant jazz violinist to emerge (after Joe Venuti), performs “Doin’ The Raccoon” and the intriguing gypsy melody “Two Guitars.” This CD concludes with five of the six numbers that singer Noble Sissle and his orchestra recorded in 1929. Sissle was an enthusiastic and spirited showman who usually included top jazzmen in his bands. Clarinetist Buster Bailey is most notable among the soloists on these rare numbers.
1920s collectors will find a great deal of interest throughout these obscure but worthy performances.
- Scott Yanow