A thorough review of trumpeter Stu Pletcher's career, with recordings by the Yale Collegians, Red Norvo, Ben Pollack, Smith Ballew, as well as two privately-recorded piano solos by Pletcher. The detailed liner notes are by Tom Pletcher, Stu's son and a jazz musician in his own right. The 40 page booklet features photographs from the Pletcher family's archives.
Louis Armstrong's tenure as second cornetist to the great King Oliver is one of jazz history's legendary apprenticeships, on par with the one Miles Davis served with Charlie Parker or Stephane Grappelli's with Django Reinhardt. Sadly, only a handful of recordings survive from this formative period in Armstrong's career. This LP features 18 of King Oliver's 1923 recordings with Armstrong, as well as a bonus appendix consisting of seven tracks recorded in 1924 by the Red Onion Jazz Babies under Armstrong's sole leadership (and featuring, on one number, a very young Alberta Hunter). The performances are as red-hot as you'd expect, and include two King Oliver and Jelly Roll Morton duets.
New horizons in historic jazz reissuing were revealed in 2005 when Jazz Oracle came out with a double-CD compendium of recordings made for about a dozen different labels between October 1924 and February 1933 in Vienna, Paris, and Berlin, all involving bandleader Lud Gluskin (1898-1989). Andreas Schmauder, apparently one of the world's leading Gluskin authorities, was asked to paw through literally hundreds of 78 rpm platters to designate the 48 titles included in this package, which is loaded with precious photographs and fascinating information. Gluskin first appears as a drummer with Paul Gason and His Versatile Orchestra. "Ain't She Sweet?" is performed by the Playboys, a Detroit-based band that would soon morph into an expanded and more versatile orchestra under Gluskin's direction.
Famously conducted the world premieres of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring and other prominent works including Petrushka, Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé, and Debussy's Jeux. Monteux was the principal conductor of the French repertoire at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
In 2002 the Transatlantic Radio label fortified their catalog with a 26-track anthology of historic sides by the Jean Goldkette Orchestra. Victor Recordings 1924-1928 neatly samples some of the group's best works by beginning in March 1924, a good nine months before Bix Beiderbecke first sat in, and ending in December 1928, more than a year after Bix had joined the ranks of Paul Whiteman's Orchestra, along with some of Goldkette's most capable players. During the mid-‘20s the Goldkette band played its best music in front of live audiences, using arrangements by Bill Challis. Studio recordings captured some of the magic in the form of sweet and hot dance music punctuated by period pop vocals. Rather than packing in a lot of alternate takes (which may be found on other equally fine collections), the folks at Transatlantic chose to lay out a sensible selection that accurately embodies what the Goldkette band was all about.
Anne-Sophie Mutter obviously had fun making this disc. In the quiet pieces (Massenet, Ysaÿe, Fauré) which serve as interludes, she plays with her usual exquisite taste. In the showpieces, though, she goes to town, sliding, scooping, exaggerating, & letting all the stops out. The gypsy inflection she uses in Ravel’s Tzigane & Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen is delicious. Even a ridiculous orchestral arrangement of Tartini’s Devil’s Trill Sonata is more amusing than offensive. With James Levine & the Berlin Philharmonic providing uncommonly alert & powerful support, & Deutsche Grammophon’s realistic sound, this disc is a real treat for violin lovers.