Three overlapping groups are heard from here, and they revisit the repertoire of the McKenzie & Condon's Chicagoans of 1927 (playing new versions of the four songs originally recorded) and Bud Freeman's 1939-1940 Summa Cum Laude Orchestra. The two septets and the octet feature such immortal Condonites as tenor saxophonist Bud Freeman; Jimmy McPartland and Billy Butterfield on trumpets; trombonists Tyree Glenn and Jack Teagarden (who also takes some vocals); clarinetists Pee Wee Russell and Peanuts Hucko; pianists Gene Schroeder and Dick Cary; rhythm guitarist Al Casamenti (but surprisingly no Eddie Condon); bassists Milt Hinton, Al Hall, and Leonard Gaskin; and drummer George Wettling. The veterans were all still in prime form at the time, and they sound quite inspired.
This edition presents, for the first time ever on CD, two of the best albums made by Pee Wee Russell in the late 50s. “Pee Wee Russell Plays” (1959), featuring the leader (who is also the composer of all the tunes) along with stars like Buck Clayton, Vic Dickenson and Bud Freeman. As a bonus, the complete album “Portrait of Pee Wee” (1958), selected as one of 100 best jazz albums of all time, and also featuring Vic Dickenson and Bud Freeman, plus the great trumpeter Ruby Braff.
Although Eddie Condon was a fine tenor guitarist, his true talent was the ability to create a space, be it a band, a radio show, or a nightclub, where the best musicians of his day could play pure jazz. The Classic Sessions, 1928-1949 is a four-CD set that collects the best of these sessions, which include performances by legends such as Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, and Billie Holiday, as well as Condon's regular circle of friends such as Gene Krupa, Bud Freeman, Miff Mole, and Muggsy Spanier. Condon's brand of hot jazz is sometimes mislabeled as Dixieland, and while most of the tracks have the same sense of driving rhythm as New Orleans jazz, many of the soloists, particularly Freeman on tenor sax, were playing lines as melodically sophisticated as anything heard in the more popular swing bands. Condon and his compatriots play classics such as "Liza," "Georgia," "Wolverine Blues," and "Nobody's Sweetheart" with an intoxicating blend of passion, power, and panache. These songs have been played by thousands of musicians since these tracks were recorded, but they have rarely been played as well. ~ Amazon
During 1991-92, clarinetist Eddie Daniels and vibraphonist Gary Burton teamed up on a tour, performing a tribute to Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton. Never mind that they sound nothing at all like their predecessors. On the CD that resulted from the collaboration, the duo use pianist Mulgrew Miller (who sounds much more like McCoy Tyner than Teddy Wilson), bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Peter Erskine for 11 songs associated with the King of Swing plus Bix Beiderbecke's "In a Mist."