Friday, 25 July 2014

Sax Battles Update Frenzy

After lingering long and linkless on the blog, Dex and Wardell have been re-uploaded. Hothouse bop duel.



R&B honkers classic LP has been given an additional link.


Go to the Updated Links page to get yer hands on these powerhouse platters. Remember the links will automatically expire if they are not used!


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

New Download Links

I've added a new page at the top of the sidebar: "Updated Links." This is the place to check for new links to downloads which had their previous links pulled by Rapidshare. All Megaupload links are long dead and I have a feeling that the remaining Rapidshare links may soon vanish.

I have had requests for new links to albums which I thought I had lost when my old PC went up in smoke but the good news is that today I found a folder on a back up disc with most of the material which I had given up on.

So here are the covers of the first 3 albums to receive new links. Click on the "Updated Links" page to download and also to go to the original posts where you can get the lowdown on these fine slabs of vinyl!


Use 'em or lose 'em! The links will expire if not used for 30 days. Keep checking the new page for further new links.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Vido Musso - Teen Age Dance Party (Crown LP 5029)






Side 1
1 Honky Tonk
2 Speak Easy
3 Blues For Two
4 Oh Yes
5 Oh Marie

Side2
1 Sorrento
2 Intermission Riff
3 You Feel It
4 Rockin' Time
5 Sweet Sue

Ripped from vinyl at 128 kbps.

Download from here (no password):

http://www48.zippyshare.com/v/27350511/file.html

Many thanks to El Enmascarado who salvaged this 1957 Crown LP for an eye watering outlay of 50 cents. As you can see from the above scans the cover was rather trashed, especially the back which made me feel nauseous every time I looked at it. I've included a cleaned up version in the download but I'm afraid my limited graphic skills don't run to reinstating the damaged front cover. The disc itself was in pretty good condition so the sound quality on these mp3s is fine, with just an occasional thump and click.

As for the content, there are similarities with the Bill Ramal LP "Screamin' Saxes" which I posted back in December 2012. Both albums feature a veteran former swing era big band tenor sax player attempting to appeal to the teen market. On "Screamin' Saxes" it was Georgie Auld who honked away gamely on a series of R&B cover versions, including "Honky Tonk" which is also on "Teen Age Dance Party."

Sicilian born Vido Musso was well into his 40s when he cut this LP for the Bihari owned Crown budget label. In the mid 1930s he had joined the Benny Goodman band and was on their recording of "Sing, Sing, Sing." He had spells in the bands of Gene Krupa, Harry James and Woody Herman among others, and after the war he had a successful stay with the Stan Kenton band.

Vido Musso on sax with Benny Goodman and Big Sid Catlett.
William Gottlieb collection, Library of Congress
By the early 1950s Vido was established on the West Coast working with small jazz groups. He recorded singles for Trilon in 1947, Arco in 1951 and Galaxy in 1952. In 1953 he joined the Bihari's Modern / RPM group of labels, recording two singles in 1953-4, "Blue Night" / "Vido's Boogie" and "Vido's Drive"/ "Frosty", which were released on RPM. These singles were followed by the jazz album "The Swingn'st" which was released on Modern and then on Crown.

"Teen Age Dance Party" was released in 1957 on Crown which was by that time the Bihari's budget label. Cynics might say that this is a fine example of exploitation, an attempt to leap aboard the current rock and roll craze, and they would be right. We've had a few examples of "exploitation" LPs on the blog before, such as the aforementioned "Screamin' Saxes" and "rock and roll" albums attributed to "Hen Gates" which turned out to be recycled Freddie Mitchell and Lockjaw Davis tracks. And of course there was the Crown LP of "twist" tunes by Jimmy McCracklin which had nothing whatsoever to do with the dance craze but turned out to be an excellent blues album.

But whatever the motive behind the making of this LP, the music stands up quite well. The version of Bill Doggett's "Honky Tonk" is especially good and other tracks rock along nicely.

Ace Records in the UK own the Modern masters and they have released a CD which includes just about all of Vido's recordings for Modern/ RPM / Crown. Ace CDCHD1035 uses the artwork of the original "The Swingin'st" LP.


There is an interesting article by Peter Gibbon on Vido Musso on the Ace website here.

With thanks to El Enmascarado.

Stop Press: Joan K has sent in a cleaned up version of the front cover:


Saturday, 12 July 2014

Hey Lawdy Mama / Groovin' The Blues - Miss Rhapsody (Savoy 5511)

From: Swing City - Newark Nightlife, 1925-50



Recorded in New York, July 6th, 1944. Personnel: Miss Rhapsody (vocal) with Reuben Cole's Orchestra : Emmett Berry (trumpet); Walter "Foots" Thomas (tenor sax); Reuben "June" Cole (piano); Harold Underhill (guitar); Billy Taylor (bass); Cozy Cole (drums).

Miss Rhapsody, real name Viola Wells, was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1902. She was already a veteran performer when she recorded three sessions for Savoy in 1944 - 1945. Like many of the artists that Savoy were picking up on at this time she was a regular fixture on the New York club scene, especially at Kelly's Stable on 52nd Street where she performed with Art Tatum, Benny Carter and Billy Daniels. She also appeared in Washington DC, Cleveland and Detroit, appearing with such prominenti as Coleman Hawkins and Nat "King" Cole. Despite regular radio broadcasts and several triumphant appearances at the Apollo (her signature tune, "Brown Gal" being a special favourite of audiences), her Savoy discs are the only records she issued at this successful time in her long career.

We are lucky that "Swing City: Newark Nightlife, 1925-50" by Barbara J. Kukla (Rutgers University Press, 2002)  includes a chapter on the fascinating life and career of Miss Rhapsody. We are even luckier that this particular chapter can be read on Google Books - just click on the link and you can read about her falling out with Ida Cox, her 14 month stay in Kansas City back in the mid 1930s when it was a wild and wide open city where jazz and swing and blues and boogie were blasting away in the all night joints, her comeback in the 1960s and 1970s, including tours to Europe and more recordings, and movingly, her struggle to overcome the partial loss of a leg and her determination to keep performing almost right up to her death in her beloved Newark in 1984.