Upbeat Jazz is proud to release this four volume set of Red Allen's finest recordings from the 1930s. These classic sessions are now made available to collectors for the first time in recent years, showcasing Allen's unsurpassed trumpeted vocals on such timeless gems as There's A House in Harlem For Sale, Believe It, Rug Cutter Swing and Ain'tcha Got Music. Many great instrumentalists are also featured including Coleman Hawkins, J.C Higginbotham and Buster Bailey.
URCD288 The Incomparable HENRY RED ALLEN - The Golden Years Volume 1 The first of four releases of Red Allen's finest recordings from the 1930s, but now with excellent sound quality! Volume 2 is URCD289 - Volume 3 on URCD294 and Volume 4 completes the set on URCD295!
CHRIS BARBER RETIRES AFTER 65 YEARS AS A TOP BANDLEADER AND PIONEER OF BLUES IN BRITAIN
STOP PRESS.....STOP PRESS.....STOP PRESS.....STOP PRESS.....STOP PRESS
Upbeat Jazz is pleased to announce that we have now bought Mike Dine's 'live' British Jazz label Dine-A-Mite, which will henceforth be known as Upbeat Dynamite! We are delighted to be able to keep this little label alive and available to Jazz fans around the world. The purchase also included two recordings by The Gothic Jazz Band, which we have added to our website and are featuring at a special price of £10 each.
Please remember that we have to order in stocks for the other labels as you order them, so we ask you to be patient if it takes a week or so for these CDs to arrive. We are importing JAZZ ORACLE especially for you, and while we start out with stock of each title in the Newsletter, if one is particularly popular, then we may have to order more from Canada, and sadly this can take a while! We can order the entire catalogue of both labels, but titles not featured in the catalogue are a special order, so if you choose such an one, please be patient! We do our very best to get your orders processed as quickly as possible and provided we have the CDs in stock, they will be sent out the same day or at worst, the following day.
GREAT NEWS! Humphrey Lyttelton in Retrospect URCD279 Sir Humph's Delight has been named top reissue 2018 in the Jazz Rag Awards! The third place was awarded to Johnny Parker JCCD3010 It Looks Like Big Time Tonight.
OTHER LATEST RELEASES from UPBEAT
URCD302 CHRIS BARBER in RETROSPECT - A Life on the Road A look back at the remarkable career of Chris Barber, compiled by Mike Pointon.
URCD301 LIL ARMSTRONG - Hot Miss Lil, Born to Swing! Lil Amstrong is one of the unsung pioneers of jazz and was the wife of Louis Armstrong. This is an excellent album and shows off the indisputable talents of Hot Miss Lil.
URCD300 THE ALBERTS - British Rubbish Revisited - The first re-release since their 1960s heyday of comedy legends The Alberts.
URCD299D The FRENCH PRESERVATION NEW ORLEANS JAZZ BAND - Alive and Kicking in Europe - double CD release of a 2004 concert by this popular French band.
URCD298 JACQUES GAUTHÉ in Retrospect - Bon Voyages, Jacques - A great tribute to one of the happiest jazzers ever! Recorded in Denmark 1990
URCD296 The Sensational SISTER ROSETTA THARPE - From Carnegie Hall to Antibes. Live recordings from Carnegie Hall 1938 plus bonus tracks with Lucky Millander and his Orchestra, The Sims-Wheeler Vintage Jazz Band and Erskine Hawkins and his Orchestra.
URCD293 COLYER RARITIES - FAREWELL TO STUDIO 51 - Ken Colyer's All Stars featuring Sammy Rimington. 68.46 minutes of 'live' jazz recorded at Studio 51 in February 1972. Some unusual tunes here, plus a few jazz favourites.
URCD291 I WISH YOU LOVE Pete Allen's Dukes of Wellington 14 tracks running 69 minutes from this popular bandleader.
URCD290 HIGHER GROUND - Roger Mark's Brass Farthings featuring Pete Allen Two great bandleaders together in a recording from October 2018. 59 minutes of great jazz!
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NIGHTS AT THE TURNTABLE - By Scott Yanow
UPBEAT ACQUIRES JAZZ ORACLE
Jazz Oracle was always a classy label. Their reissues, which were produced by Colin J. Bray, John Wilby and the late John R.T. Davies, featured comprehensive yet often obscure recordings from the 1920s and ‘30s. The sound quality and remastering were state-of-the-art, the liner notes were lengthy and authoritative, and the packaging was top-notch. Among the Jazz Oracles that I have reviewed thus far for the Syncopated Times have been ones titled Richmond Rarities, Roger Wolfe Kahn, West Coast Jazz, and Jimmy Lyttle. Among the many other gems in their catalog are four volumes of the complete Original Indiana Five, seven CDs on Ben Pollack, a three-CD set of Sam Wooding, and a remarkable trio of three-CD packages that contain the complete Red Nichols on Brunswick.
Now all 71 Jazz Oracle titles have been acquired by Upbeat which is making all of the releases available. Upbeat was founded in 1989 by Liz Biddle who still runs the large company, Upbeat not only records new trad, New Orleans and swing sessions but has its own extensive program of reissues and previously unreleased material, mostly by British, American and European artists. In addition to Jazz Oracle, Upbeat owns the late Big Bill Bissonette’s Jazz Crusade label and the small Dynamite company plus they make available releases from Lake, Frog, 504 Records, Retrospective, JSP and some other labels. Its large catalog is full of essential releases. Three of the Jazz Oracle releases are covered in this article.
While the classic Red Nichols and his Five Pennies sessions are in the Brunswick series, Nichols was so prolific during the 1920s that there is much more to be heard from the cornetist. The three-CD set The Red Heads, 1925-27 has the recordings that he made for the Actuelle, Perfect and Pathe labels with the Red Heads, plus six early titles for Columbia that were released as being by Lanin’s Red Heads. The Red Heads mostly preceded the Five Pennies (which did not have its first session until Dec. 8, 1926) although it had similar personnel. On this extensive release, which has Nichols, trombonist Miff Mole and drummer Vic Berton first teaming up on the Lanin Red Heads titles from 1925 with pianist Arthur Schutt joining the group on the first Red Heads session in November, one can hear the concept of the Five Pennies being formed.
The close interplay between Nichols and Mole, the trombonist’s often-eccentric solos (which featured him playing impossibly wide intervals that put him ahead of other trombonists of the time), the mixture of arranged and jammed ensembles along with some surprising endings, and the occasional use of whole-tone scales resulted in Red Nichols’ music being in its own category. A variety of clarinetists and saxophonists filled out the core group until the brilliant Jimmy Dorsey (on alto and clarinet) became part of the Red Heads in Sept. 1926. Among the other key musicians who make contributions to these sides are Joe Tarto on tuba, banjoist Dick McDonough, guitarist Eddie Lang, violinist Joe Venuti and, on a classic version of 'Baltimore,' trumpeter Wingy Manone. In addition to the Red Heads performances, a similar group is heard on sessions led by Cliff Edwards ('Ukulele Ike' who was arguably the first male jazz singer on records) plus three songs featuring vocalist Jay C. Flippen.
Despite expert remastering, the recording quality is a bit rough on the earlier acoustically recorded sides (Actuelle was not known for its quiet surfaces) but both the phrasing (rhythmically awkward on some of the first titles) and the recording quality improved steadily during 1926, The 74 performances (which include 16 alternate takes) have many more hits then misses and add to the underrated but rather impressive musical legacy of Red Nichols.
Several of the Jazz Oracles are various artists collections that include some of the hottest performances from a particular label. When one listens to the 27 selections on Grey Gull Rarities, it is easy to conclude that Grey Gull was one of the top jazz labels of the 1920s. However the company was best known for its novelty records, most of which sound quite dated today. While the Grey Gull House Band often included trumpeter Mike Mosiello and Andy Sannella on reeds and guitar, much of its output is actually of only minimal interest.
However Grey Gull Rarities lives up to its name. Included are mostly hot jazz performances (three numbers from 1924-25 and the remainder from 1927-30) by Leroy Smith’s Dance Orchestra, the International Dance Orchestra, the Original Dixie Rag Pickers, the Universal Dance Orchestra, the Hilltoppers, the Nashville Jazzers, Sam Lanin, Nick Nichols, the Memphis Jazzers, the Big Time Trio, the Levee Syncopators, and the California Ramblers plus six of the best songs (including 'Wow Wow Blues') from the Grey Gull House Band. The personnel of many of these groups are not known or are obscure although cornetist Thomas Morris, trombonist Tommy Dorsey, trumpeter Manny Klein, and singer Vaughn DeLeath make appearances. But no matter, this is highly enjoyable if rarely heard music.
In Jan. 1934, trombonist Jack Teagarden, in what he thought was a very good move that would let him ride out the Depression, signed a five-year contract to become a member of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. While Teagarden was featured on an occasional number with Whiteman, he was mostly buried anonymously in the large ensembles as the swing era took off. In December 1936 when the Paul Whiteman band was on vacation, C-melody saxophonist Frank Trumbauer (who had recently left Whiteman) teamed up with Jack Teagarden and his brother trumpeter Charlie Teagarden (also employed by the orchestra) as the Three T’s. They played much of the month at the Hickory House in New York and were featured on three radio broadcasts. While the band initially got surprisingly negative reviews, they improved quickly and were one of the top jazz combos of that month. The three co-leaders were joined by Caspar Reardon (who was succeeded by Adele Girard) on harp, pianist Herman Crone, bassist Min Leibrook and drummer Stan King.
The Three T’s is a single disc that contains the three broadcasts. While the first aircheck is brief, the band gets to stretch out on the other two dates and displays quite a bit of potential. Jack Teagarden takes a few vocals, Charlie Teagarden is heard at his best, and Trumbauer shows his versatility, excelling on both the cooking pieces and semi-classical works including a remarkable Eclipse'. Highlights include a few hot medleys (including one of 'Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea' and 'I Got Rhythm'), an inventive arrangement of '’S Wonderful', and 'Way Down Yonder In New Orleans'.
Unfortunately Jack Teagarden became seriously ill (soon recovering) later in the month and Whiteman called back both the Teagardens when his orchestra went on the road in early 1937, ending the Three T’s. Trumbauer would soon lead a new if less successful group with the same rhythm section and two other horn players. This valuable Jazz Oracle CD shows what could have been if Jack Teagarden had not signed that contract.
Mike Pointon has compiled a wonderful CD of Chris Barber. His unmatched musical career spanned 65 years. Chris Barber retired from bandleading in August 2019 and this CD is released as a tribute to his stature within the jazz world.
The eloquent Belfast-based jazz broadcaster Walter Love assessed Chris’s major contributions to the European jazz scene over the years by stating how much he’d inspired a generation or two of jazz enthusiasts.
This ... [MORE]
Lil Amstrong is one of the unsung pioneers of jazz and was the wife of Louis Armstrong. This is an excellent album and shows off the indisputable talents of Hot Miss Lil
Lil Hardin Armstrong (February 3, 1898–August 27, 1971) was a jazz pianist, the first major female jazz instrumentalist, who played with the King Oliver Creole Jazz Band and Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven bands. She also wrote or co-wrote many jazz songs and fronted ... [MORE]
The Alberts were a British music/comedy troupe of the mid-1950s to mid-1960s, featuring brothers Anthony ‘Tony’ (slide cornet) and Douglas ‘Dougie’ Gray (multi-instrumentalist), along with Bruce Lacey. Dougie Gray was also founder member of The Temperance Seven! These rare tracks remain as a testament to the influence their manic legacy had on future British comedy bands like The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, The Lounge Lizards and Bob Kerr’s Whoopee Band. The ... [MORE]
A Tribute to Captain John Handy - Jean Pierre Alessi and The French Preservation New Orleans Jazz Band
It is wonderful to hear the sax of the incredible Captain John Handy being played by a musician based in France who recently bought the instrument! J P Alessi - a lifelong fan of Handy - is now playing Handy’s sax to keeps his legacy alive. Here he is accompanied by the French Preservation New Orleans Jazz Band. Recorded in October 2019, the CD runs 63 minutes and 50 seconds. [MORE]
Following on from their previous success of BLUES FOR MANNY PAUL (URCD286), Upbeat Jazz is pleased to release this double CD of this popular French band with more to come later in the pipeline. The band here is a veritable United Nations of talent. Recorded in December 2004 in Irigny, France, the tunes were originally released on 2 Jazz Crusade CDs under the title Jumpin' in Iringy. This is their first release on ... [MORE]
Another superb CD from Pete Allen – Honorary Citizen of New Orleans.
Pete Allen is regarded as one of Europe’s most talented and exciting masters of the clarinet. Over the years, Pete has appeared in many television and radio shows, both with his own band and as a solo artist. Indeed, for over five years, he found time to present his own jazz programme for BBC Radio.
Pete’s bans play an exciting and entertaining musical selection of happy ... [MORE]
Pete Allen – Honorary Citizen of New Orleans – what an accolade!
Upbeat Jazz welcomes Pete Allen back onto its label after a gap of 16 years since the release of his album RUNNING WILD URCD178 which was voted in the top ten best albums of 2002 Jazz Review.
The Pete Allen Jazz Band and his Dukes of Wellington appear at prestigious jazz festivals, theatres and clubs throughout the UK and abroad, with appearances in France, Denmark, Germany, ... [MORE]
Upbeat is proud to present this long-awaited 4-CD set featuring the cream of the recorded output of one of the finest jazz trumpeters of all time in all its digitally restored glory. Red Allen’s timeless recordings are essential to any jazz record collection and for the first time in many years are now available in the sequence in which they were originally recorded in the 1930s and 40s. Red Allen’s creative approach to jazz trumpet was at its peak during ... [MORE]
By far the outstanding, most powerful female British Blues/RnB singer of her era, former Belfast art teacher OTTILIE PATTERSON sang with Chris Barber's band between 1955-73. Although the slight, demure Ottilie looked like a shy Irish coleen, she sang like a white Bessie Smith, as Louis Armstrong once famously observed.
She recorded prolifically, both as a solo artiste and as an ensemble band member, and this compilation is drawn from both sources. ... [MORE]
It was only fitting that the last gig Jacques Gauthé played was in his home town of Gascony, France. He was without doubt one of the happiest jazzers ever and this CD is Jazz Crusade's tribute to him. It was recordedin June 1990 in Denmark and has three reed player and no brass, so the pace is fast and thrilling! What a line-up. Peter Nissen leads the session from the drums, with Jacques on clarinet and soprano sax, Soren Sorensen on tenor sax and vocals, ... [MORE]
This album is the latest from respected trombonist, Roger Marks. He has teamed up with Pete Allen and both their date sheets are really full. Both are active bandleaders in their own right and play both in the UK and Europe on a regular basis. This is the third album of Roger Marks on the Upbeat Jazz label following the critical acclaim of the first two - URCD270 - ROGER MARKS IN RETROSPECT and URCD278 - MARKS AND SPARKS
Barry Clare ... [MORE]