Ben Pollack revisited
Wolfgang Doering | Neresheim | 02/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the most overlooked yet influential bands of the late 20s and early thirties. Pollack himself wasn't much of a drummer (he had played with the NORK) and his vocals are average at their best. However, he was able to assemble some fine musicians in his band, and he gave them plenty of solo room in some of his recordings. More than half of his output on records had pretty commercial arrangements, they were so to speak pop songs of the time. That way Pollack was able to give some financial security to the likes of Benny Goodman, Jimmy McPartland, Jack Teagarden and Gene Krupa in those difficult Depression years. The band also recorded under different names such as "Red Nichols And His Five Pennie" (1929 sessions, plus Nichols of course) or "Benny Goodman & his Orchestra", "Jack Teagarden & his Orchestra" (first session) or "Charleston Chasers" (last sessions). After its demise in 1934 Bob Crosby (Bings younger brother) took over and the band lived on as the nucleus of "Bob Crosby & his Orchestra".
This selection unites some of Pollacks best and jazzworty recordings. To be commended.