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).
A two-hour in-depth exploration into the Hollywood musicals of the 1930s.
It's been said that America has given the world two thoroughly original art forms… jazz and the movie musical. The 1930s saw the newly born genre of the Hollywood musical bloom with artistry and variety never before imagined. For many film-goers, the Hollywood musical gave them escape and hope during the troubled years of the Great Depression. Highlights of this 2-part program include the magic of director/choreographer Busby Berkeley as his eye-popping, sexy production numbers move to the forefront of the genre.
This fantastic compilation of calypso sides from 1935-1940 may very well be the best one out there and was my introduction to the music of Trinidad from that era. Split between recordings made in New York City and Port of Spain, the material on this CD features the island's most famous prewar singers backed by earthy yet elegant orchestras with guitars, pianos, horns, and string sections. As with much calypso music from the 1930s, the songs tend to be very topical in nature and provide a great deal of social and political commentary relevant to the denizens of Trinidad.