Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Best compilation of Cab for the 30s
Duncan Grover | Lancing, West Sussex United Kingdom | 03/28/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Having purchased the terrific 'Are You Hep to the Jive?' CD which covers the period 1939-47, I then faced the task of finding a decent anthology of Cab's work for 1930-9. Having tried other discs and been disappointed, I have included that this is the best for this earlier period. The trouble with Cab anthologies is that, while he recorded some great songs, he also recorded a lot of cheesy stuff, and usually both categories are mixed together. Cab was at his best when he was being outrageous, singing his 'Hi-de-Ho' wailers and so on. But when he tried to sing ballads, he'd sing in this corny Al Jolson-style, which may have been popular at the time, but rather embarassing now.On the whole, this CD focuses on Cab's good stuff. The opening 'St Louis Blues' is a definitive example of Cab's early style where he almost seems to hold on to a note forever. We also get the rare opportunity of hearing the original 1931 version of 'Minnie the Moocher', perhaps not as good as the 1942 version but its nice to have both in your collection. In fact we're treated to no less than five songs featuring Minnie and Smokey Joe, namely 'Minnie the Moocher' itself, 'Lady with the Fan', 'Zaz Zuh Zaz', 'Kickin' the Gong Around' and 'The Ghost of Smokey Joe'. Only 'Minnie the Moocher's Wedding Day' and 'Mr Paganini, Swing for Minnie' are missing, so until a CD is issued to include the entire Moocher series, I guess this is the closest we'll get.If there was one song I wouldn't have included on this disc, it would be 'Miss Otis Regrets', a fine song by other people but, for Cab, it's more in that cheesy category referred to previously. But, despite the odd questionable selection, we do get to hear some of Cab's finest including the scat standard 'Nagasaki' and 'Jumpin' Jive', Cab's big hit from the movie 'Stormy Weather'.I recommend 'Are You Hep to the Jive?' to hear Cab's best work for 1939-47. For pre-1939 recordings, I would recommend this album, as well as Columbia/Legacy's two "Best of the Big Bands" discs."
A perfectly done anthologie...
hep-cat-jive | Heptown, Coolsville | 12/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This cd has highlights from Cab's 1030-39 period, when his band was playing "hot" dance music, and swinging really hard. Calloway on this "L'art Vocal" series, is represented here as a vocalist(they also have the series on Lena Horn & an exellent Fats Waller series), who fronted one of the best big bands of the period. His vocals are wonderful and slightly over the top. As far as his singing ballads goes, he was hep and cool, not at all like the rhythmless Jolson, as another less educated reviewer wrote. Calloways's vocals on ballads could be dramatic yet hep as always a good example of his sounding great on a ballad is his singing on "The Lady With The Fan"(an essential Calloway performance), and "Moonglow", while those may not be on this set, you can acquire those on his more complete Calssics Chrono series which has almost all of his reocrdings. In any case this is a fine sampler of his mid period recordings, however you will also want to explore the peiod before this with Cab calloway and the Missourians(his hottest band od all!). Then you will want his R&B sides from the 40's. but this is a start... and a good one at that, as it features many uptempo hot numbers and an occasional ballad, which features Cab as a crooner, who has more in common with Bing Crosby then Al Joson."