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Cotton Pickin' good
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 01/16/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Nearly forgotten today, McKinney's Cotton Pickers was the starting place for many prominent mid-20th Century jazz musicians. Scat singing, banjo and tuba rhythm and odd "put on" voices were Cotton Picker trademarks. Their playful, upbeat music stands the test of time. The poignant songs they also favored were always done with great feeling. The 25 tracks on JAZZ ARCHIVE #26 * MCKINNEY'S COTTON PICKERS are all in superb condition-- reproduction of these sides, first rate. Liner notes include song personnel, recording dates and running times.
The Cotton Pickers took their name from drummer Bill McKinney, who fronted the band briefly. Over the years they had many other leaders: Cuba Austin, Don Redman, Benny Carter, etc. Personnel changed nearly as often, and guests were often invited to sit in on recording sessions. Thus Coleman Hawkins and Fats Waller appear on "Plain Dirt," "Gee, Ain't I Good To You?" and "I'd Love It."
The sound here is reminiscent of early Cab Calloway, as well as Don Redman's own orchestra (they recorded "Chant Of The Weed" in 1930). It's good stuff. If you like circa-1930 jazz band music you won't be diappointed in MCKINNEY'S COTTON PICKERS.
TOTAL RUNNING TIME -- 75:26"