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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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V-DISC ALL STARS

Mostly Instrumentals

SOUNDS OF YESTER YEAR
DSOY881

 

 

1. The Jeep's Jumpin' (4:43)
2. Northwest Passage (5:57)
3. Somebody Loves Me (4:56)
4. John Hardy's Wife (4:24)
5. J.P. Vanderbilt IV (5:50)
6. Billie Bauer's Tune (4:27)
7. Now Hear This (2:35)
8. Skrontch (2:39)
9. Undecided (2:55)
10. Five O'Clock Drag (3:22)
11. Snarehead (2:54)
12. Tea For Two (5:04)
13. I've Found a New Baby (4:17)
14. Old Rob Roy (3:41)
15. Roy Meets Horn (3:51)
16. Billy's Bounce (5:15)
17. Phlanges (2:50)
18. Sleep (2:25)
19. Stand Still Stanley (5:03)

Billy Bauer Guitar, Roy Eldridge Trumpet, Bill Harris Trombone, Woody Herman Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Vocals, Flip Phillips Tenor Saxophone, Specs Powell Drums, Ben Webster Tenor Saxophone, Charlie Shavers Trumpet, Trigger Alpert Bass, Ralph Burns Piano, Herbie Fields Alto Saxophone, Marty Napoleon Piano, Bob Haggart Bass, Chubby Jackson Bass, Singleton Palmer Bass, Stan Freeman Piano, Mike Bryan Guitar, Georgie Auld Tenor Saxophone, Johnny Blowers Drums, Mort Bullman Trombone, Don Byas Tenor Saxophone, Ernie Caceres Clarinet, Nick Caiazza Tenor Saxophone, Mahlon Clark Clarinet, Clark Terry Trumpet, Ray DeGeer Alto Saxophone, Al Hall Bass, Marjorie Hyams Vibes, Al Killian Trumpet, Nuncio "Toots" Mondello Alto Saxophone, Danny Perri Guitar, Norris "Bunny" Shawker Drums, Bill Stegmeyer Clarinet, Ray Wetzel Trumpet, Gordon "Specs" Powell Drums, Billy Rowland Piano, Mark McIntyre Piano, Bob Dawes Baritone Saxophone, Pat Leonard Tenor Saxophone, Art Drellinger Tenor Saxophone, James "Trummy" Young Trombone, David Roy Eldridge Trumpet, Dave Matthews Tenor Saxophone ,Hermann "Trigger" Alpert Bass, Russ Morhoff Bass, Manuel "Manny" Stevens Trumpet, Glenn Waller Drums, Hal "Doc" West Drums, Gordon "Chris" Griffin Trumpet, Robert (Lou) McGarity Trombone, Michael "Peanuts" Hucko Clarinet, Allan Hanlon Guitar, Henry "Billy" Rowland Piano, Harry "Hy" White Guitar, Nat Jaffee Piano
Rec. 1945-47 [77:20]

 

This is a most enjoyable and varied collection of V-Discs. A look at the head note shows just how many instrumentalists are involved and this second volume of the series (the first was DSOD827 and dedicated to vocal performances) leaves a lasting impression.

Nat Jaffee was pianist and leader of his V-Disc Jumpers, though his overloud chording doesn't impress. Fortunately the front line pairing of Charlie Shavers and Don Byas offer a textbook chase chorus in compensation. Woody Herman introduces the soloists in Northwest Passage - which must have been helpful for Armed Service listeners abroad - and with so stellar a sax section (Herbie Fields, Georgie Auld, and Flip Phillips) things could hardly fail. Fields' skitteringly erratic alto solo is a highlight. A contingent from Herman's band joined Shavers to form the Vanderbilt Stars, a chromium plated upmarket name if ever there was one. The tune J.P. Vanderbilt IV is no more than our old friend Northwest Passage and was never issued on V-Disc. On Billie Bauer's Tune Byas takes a fine solo, and then Fields a bizarre one.

One of the enjoyable things about this collection is to hear bands like the little known Catalina Sextet (a bit of quiet scrunch on one of their discs) who are proficient but not in any way outstanding, polite, in fact. Dave Matthews and his V-Disc Jammers turn out to be a going-through-the-motions outfit. Trumpeter Al Killian lazily trots out Isle of Capri quotations during Five O'Clock Drag but things look up with the arrival of Bill Stegmeyer's Hot Eight which includes Roy Eldridge and Trummy Young. The trumpeter plays muted and then drivingly in the final chorus, propelled by Specs Powell's drums. But it's Nick Caiazza on tenor - who was most famously with Muggsy Spanier - who really shines with his bustling solo on Tea for Two. Then we have Clark Terry blowing some mean blues, alongside the hesitant tenor player `Weasel' Parker. To finish, a fine Stand Still Stanley where Peanuts Hucko plays soundly and Artie Drellinger summons up Coleman Hawkins on tenor, contrasted well with Toots Mondello's cooler alto playing.

Some of the sides have a touch of scrunch or brief blemishes but all in all they've survived in good nick. There's a splendid discography, which is a real bonus and an important one given some of the rather peripheral players involved. If you are taken by V-Discs I can recommend this selection, and their varied personnel and performances.

Jonathan Woolf



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