Includes all the known takes from the Chicago Looper's session, originally released on the Pathe label. Also featured are the first sides Beiderbecke recorded with musicians from Paul Whiteman's Orchestra, plus a previously unknown session lead by Lou Raderman.
Whitney Balliet, one of jazz's most poetic and respected writers, has notably remarked on trumpeter Bix Beiderbecke's distinctive three-dimensional sound, achieved despite the limitations of recordings from the 1920s. Indeed, a certain amount of dedication on behalf of a 21st-century listener is handy when dealing with the sound quality of transferred 78s. But, in the case of Beiderbecke, the payoff from close listening is well rewarded. He was a legend in his own time, and, by the end of his short career, Beiderbecke had worked his way up to the highest-paying band in the land--Paul Whiteman's Orchestra. Flashes of Beiderbecke's melodic brilliance and inventiveness abound on AT THE JAZZ BAND BALL, both on dates led by himself and others.
On "Jazz Me Blues," one can hear a solo that, for a long time, was considered the only way to play the tune. "Cryin' All Day" features Bix matched with his saxophone-pioneer partner Frank Trumbauer. Willard Robinson's charming, Gershwin-esque "Jubilee," while not offering any Bix soloing, is a wonderfully succinct, early-jazz tone poem. And though the hijinks on "Mississippi Mud" are not politically correct by later standards, the song does present a very young Bing Crosby in a cameo appearance.