|All Artists: Muggsy Spanier|
Title: Ragtime Band Sessions
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Release Date: 3/28/1995
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Traditional Jazz & Ragtime, Dixieland
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
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Not quite everything despite the claim, but great hot jazz
Scott MacGillivray | Massachusetts, USA | 06/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This compilation features almost all of the recorded output of Muggsy Spanier's Ragtime Band, a short-lived "concept" group of 1939 that insisted on playing traditional jazz when everybody else was playing swing arrangements. "Ragtime" is purely an indicator of the band's deliberately anachronistic repertoire; no Joplinesque rags here, but there are some venerable dixieland standards.
Muggsy Spanier leads with some terrific trumpet; Rod Cless on clarinet and George Brunies on trombone are almost as prominent and every bit as good. Some of the cuts feature the tenor sax of Bernie Billings, whose phrasing will remind vintage-jazz fans of Bud Freeman. Almost all of the cuts are instrumentals (Brunies sings two numbers). Typical are "Livery Stable Blues," popularized by the pioneer Original Dixieland Jazz Band (Billings shines on tenor), "That Da-Da Strain," with the entire band joyously jamming, and "I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate," dominated by Brunies on trombone and vocal.
The band's brief life span made these Bluebird recordings collector's items, and this CD presents almost all of them. There are generally two takes of each tune. Despite the producers' claim that this is the "complete" Ragtime Band output, it isn't: they forgot to include the alternate take of "Eccentric." That's the only reservation about the programming. Care has obviously been taken to optimize the sound fidelity, and the disc's informative liner notes put the Spanier band in its proper context. An excellent buy for jazz fans.