Ted Weems led one of the finest hot dance/jazz bands during the second half of the 1920s, but his later popularity with a sweeter orchestra has overshadowed his earlier, more jazz-oriented group. This 1996 CD has 18 of his recordings from the 1926-1929 period and features high musicianship, some fine short solos (particularly from clarinetist Don Watt), spirited singing from Parker Gibbs, and superior arrangements. Weems' versions of "Piccolo Pete" (a hit at the time) and "What a Day" are classics. Although Marvelous! unfortunately does not include the personnel listings (an inexcusable omission), it is otherwise an excellent release, giving one a fine overview of the somewhat forgotten band. Other highlights include "That's My Girl," "Miss Annabelle Lee," "Who Wouldn't Be Blue" and "Miss Wonderful." Easily recommended for '20s music collectors. ~ Scott Yanow
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