Joe "King" Oliver was Louis Armstrong's idol and mentor. The recordings they made together during the years 1923-1924 are precious milestones of classic jazz that live in the same pantheon with the early recordings of Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Thomas Morris, Sidney Bechet, Bennie Moten, the New Orleans Rhythm Kings and Bix Beiderbecke. Armstrong struck out on his own in late 1924, after which Oliver's career took a series of errant and indecisive turns. The orchestra that recorded for Victor under Oliver's name during 1929-1931 was quite different from the smaller bands he'd led a few years earlier. Oliver's Victor groups conformed to the stylistic trends of jazz and dance orchestras that prevailed in New York during the late 1920s. In 2005, the Colombian budget label Yoyo Music brought out a sampler of 16 sides cut by King Oliver's Orchestra in the year 1930. By the time these records were made, Oliver's chops were gone enough that his nephew Dave Nelson was the lead trumpeter, with Henry "Red" Allen making several dramatic contributions as well. In addition to several excellent reed players, Oliver's orchestra was greatly strengthened by the presence of tuba wrestler Clinton Walker. The harmonica solo on "Frankie and Johnny" is by Roy Smeck. The best way to revisit King Oliver's music is to shop around and evaluate the various labels that have taken the time to reissue the material responsibly. Nobody has done a better job of handling the entire King Oliver discography (1923-1931) than the Classics Chronological Series, although Off the Record makes claims to unprecedented remastering techniques. Several companies have dwelt exclusively upon the later Victor sides, and some -- JSP and Frog, for example -- have succeeded uncommonly well. On the other hand, owning this little budget-priced Yoyo edition is better than having no King Oliver at all. ~ arwulf arwulf
24846NLegendary King Oliver 1930 Recordings (CD)http://oldies.s3.amazonaws.com/i/boxart/w340/00/19/825083001924.jpg8.9812.23USDDiscontinuedYoyo MusicCDJazzKing-Oliver2008-12-31
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