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Indispensable Bix Beiderbecke (1925-1930)
Bix Beiderbecke
Indispensable Bix Beiderbecke (1925-1930)
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #2

On this two-disc set of his recordings for RCA Victor, cornetist Bix Beiderbecke figures largely as a sideman in the orchestras of Jean Goldkette and Paul Whiteman. Despite that, this covers one of the most important chapt...  more »


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All Artists: Bix Beiderbecke
Title: Indispensable Bix Beiderbecke (1925-1930)
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: RCA
Original Release Date: 2/28/1995
Release Date: 2/28/1995
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Style: Traditional Jazz & Ragtime
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPCs: 078636654027, 035628957221

On this two-disc set of his recordings for RCA Victor, cornetist Bix Beiderbecke figures largely as a sideman in the orchestras of Jean Goldkette and Paul Whiteman. Despite that, this covers one of the most important chapters in American music in the 1920s, chronicling not only Beiderbecke's career, but also the gradual spread of jazz into the more popular bands of the day. Although he was primarily a classical pianist, Goldkette staffed his band with gifted jazz players, including saxophonist Frankie Trumbauer, clarinetist Jimmy Dorsey, trombonist Tommy Dorsey, violinist Joe Venuti, and guitarist Eddie Lang, as well as Beiderbecke. The first track here comes from Beiderbecke's brief stay with Goldkette in 1924, a job that quickly ended over the cornetist's inability to read music. His second period with Goldkette began in 1926, and the band's jazz qualities are abundantly clear on tracks like "Proud of a Baby Like You" and "Clementine." When Goldkette's band was breaking up in 1927, Paul Whiteman hired the nucleus of the group, immediately acquiring some jazz credibility in the process. The first of Beiderbecke's appearances with Whiteman is on "Washboard Blues," written and sung by his friend Hoagy Carmichael, and it's with Carmichael's 1930 group that Beiderbecke makes his final appearances here, adding his horn to songs like "Rockin' Chair" and "Georgia on My Mind." There are also three tracks from 1930 under Beiderbecke's own leadership, and both the Carmichael and Beiderbecke tracks benefit from members of the same tight-knit group that had been with Goldkette four years earlier. --Stuart Broomer

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Get your Bix elsewhere
"Gimpy" Peach Johnson | 12/17/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Bix Beiderbecke is my favorite musician. Period. Having said that, it hurts me to give a review of less than five stars to a disc set dedicated to his recordings, but the sound quality on these discs is so bad, I've got to give it only two. This was the first CD of Bix's recordings I ever bought, and it is definitely the worst in terms of the sound quality. These are all remarkable "big band" recordings Bix made in the 1920s and early 1930s with the orchestras of Jean Goldkette and Paul Whiteman (plus a few others under the direction of Hoagy Carmichael), and anyone who likes Bix's music should have them, but not from this set. As other reviewers have commented, the remastering on this set is just terrible; every track sounds as if it were recorded under water. By trying to remove all traces of record surface noise, the producers have introduced annoying digital artifacts and made the records sound "wishy-washy." They're all muddy and seem to have an irritating false-reverb added to hide the poor remastering. This is a shame too, since Victor Records, which originally recorded these sides in the 1920s and 1930s, was known at the time for having one of the best electrical recording systems in the business, and produced some fine-sounding records. You'd never know it by listening to these discs.If you're looking to buy these recordings, I'd highly recommend the "Bix Restored" series instead with excellent remastering by the well-known John R. T. Davies. Those discs sound like they should: bright, crisp, and clear--not watered-down and distorted like this set. The "Bix Restored" discs are a bit more expensive, but if you're serious about owning Bix in the best quality out there, there's really no other choice. If you can't afford the Bix Restored series, look around for some other CD offering these sides."
Great Music - Terrible Sound
Michael D. Robbins | San Antonio, Texas United States | 01/07/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This set compiles in one place the best of Bix's recordings with the Jean Goldkette and Paul Whiteman bands. The music is, as the album title suggests, indispensable. The sound, however, is awful.These are the muddiest sounding transfers of vintage recordings to compact disk that I have ever heard. I am not talking about the suface noise that is common to 78 r.p.m. records, and which is sometimes unavoidable on this type of reissue. These tracks have an annoying aural tarnish to them that is not present on my old LPs and 78s. Listening to these CDs is like looking at a beautiful Impressionist painting through dirty glasses. The bad sound reaches its nadir on the accoustically-recorded "I Didn't Know" with Goldkette. The reissue engineers attempted to remove a bothersome scratch, present on the original master. In so doing, they produced a remastering that is even more annoying than the original.Compounding these irritations, these disks contain alternate takes of "Washboard Blues," "San," and "There Ain't No Sweet Man" that are musically inferior to the more commonly-heard versions. Caveat emptor."
Bix is the best
Roget | 09/01/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Bix is the best!!! This CD is clearly not...This CD does not really honor Bix the way he should be honored. It is a good listen, nevertheless."