A good introduction to an overlooked talent
Neil Ford | Sydney, Australia | 12/19/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"ASV Living Era have put together another good compilation. This one contains some of the high-lights of Nichols's 1920s recordings. The transfer sounds clean (better that the "His best recordings" CD), although an artificial stereo effect has been used, which can be circumvented by listening in mono.The Five Pennies were noted for playing what was called "chamber jazz", jazz that could be listened to as well as danced to. The arrangements are creative and thoughtful, but at the same time they swing and are distinguished by great ensemble playing.The liner notes are useful, pointing out that Nichols recorded with many band line-ups (including a number of later-to-be-famous names: Glenn Miller, Gene Krupa, the Dorsey brothers, Benny Goodman, etc.), under a variety of band names, and that Nichols and Bix Beiderbecke, who started playing around the same time, were influences upon each other. A valuable introduction to an often-overlooked talent of the jazz age.Even better than this is the Charleston Chasers CD (ASIN B00000K55D), this being one of the band names Nichols used. (Don't get them confused with the modern British band of the same name.)"