Cab Calloway's eccentric personality and wild onstage antics often overshadowed his musical contributions, when in fact, as this superb Columbia sampler demonstrates, the two went hand in hand. On all-time classic tracks like "The Jumpin' Jive," "Reefer Man," and the inexhaustible "Minnie the Moocher," the Hi-Di-Ho man's exuberance and vitality as a performer is grounded by his tight bandleading and the outstanding playing of his orchestra (which, over the years, included such greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Eddie Barefield and Chu Berry).
The Heat is turned up again for another chapter in the 25-year history of Pierre Lacocque's Mississippi Heat. The Living Blues review of their previous album said 'Warning Shot (DMK 839) showcases bandleader and principal songwriter Lacocque's eloquent harp playing, supported by a cast of heavy hitters that delivers the trademark big band sound and one of the hottest, tightest bands in Chicago today, and the original songs on this album are pure fun and are worthy additions to the great history of Chicago blues. ' Cab Driving Man features 15 new songs with Inetta Visor and Michael Dotson as lead vocalists again. The songs are a wonderful blend of Mississippi, Chicago, boogie, swing and south of the border.
Hi De Ho is one more of the quick, cheap movies cranked out by Hollywood featuring black entertainers and designed to fill seats in the movie houses for the segregated black audiences of the south and the unofficially but just as segregated theaters everywhere else. Hi De Ho is exceptional in one regard. It features that great showman and entertainer Cab Calloway in his prime and a year before he decided to disband his orchestra because of changing musical tastes. Calloway had a long career, and had become a star by 1930. He sang, moved (not exactly danced), strutted and jived.