Review Jazz In Britain 1919-1950

Various Artists

... read moreThis four-disc collection from Proper is a solid overview of the music made in Great Britain in the first 30 years of jazz history. The contents of the box reveal not only British talent, per se, but also musicians from the rest of Europe -- Paris mostly -- and from the United States (of course)...

This four-disc collection from Proper is a solid overview of the music made in Great Britain in the first 30 years of jazz history. The contents of the box reveal not only British talent, per se, but also musicians from the rest of Europe -- Paris mostly -- and from the United States (of course). There are 101 tracks that make up this decently annotated set, with the greatest number of surprises being on disc one. From the rarities like Fred Elizade & His Cambridge Undergarments with "Stomp Your Feet," to Allan Selby's classic "Love Me or Leaver Me," and Ted Lewis' "Song of the Dawn" and "Sobbin' Blues," there are numerous surprises. Jimmy Dorsey even makes an appearance with Spike Hughes & His Three Blind Mice on a fine reading of "St. Louis Blues." Beginning on disc two, we begin to see the "American Invasion," as it were, with Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, and Garland Wilson all with sides recorded in the British Isles. But it is in the peculiarly British sounds that this set finds it charm, such as in the inclusion of tracks by Buck and Bubbles, Duncan Whyte, Ambrose & His Orchestra, Danny Polo, Jack Hylton's Rhythmagicians, Ted Heath (of course), Alan Dean's Beboppers, the great Yorkshire Jazz Band, Graeme Bell & His Australian Jazz Band, Freddy Randall, Ronnie Scott's Club 11 Boptet, and many others. While the appeal of a collection like this is limited, collectors will certainly find lots to love. Sound quality varies in places but is largely fine throughout. ~ Thom Jurek