Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Housecleaning & re-encoding & Jolson
I could sleep in this morning, so I stayed up way too late getting some of the older encodes cleaned up a little so I could share them with all you fine fine people... so let's get started!
Al Jolson... there was a reason that he was known as "The Jazz Singer" and not "The Waltz Singer". In the thrift-store baggie-of-78s there was this Brunswick disc that has examples of Al singing well in, and well out of, his domain. He gets the vocal duties on this hot little number with Carl Fenton's Orchestra, "Miami". I don't remember when he took a stint away from Columbia to record with Brunswick, but I usually don't see many of his recordings on that label. I at first thought this was an acoustic recording but after a careful listen, found it to be electrical! And no mention of any electrical process on the label! I guess I may have to re-think the other Brunswick stuff I have posted... anyways, you can almost hear the "Mammy!!" he is so famous for in this recording... the Jolson style is certainly there.
Now, as for the reason he was NOT called "The Waltz Singer": "You Forgot To Remember", again with Carl Fenton's Orchestra providing the backing. This comes VERY close to qualifying for a Clanker, especially how he releases his last note. I almost cried when I heard this song of the jilted lover, and not at the lyrics. Al, stick to the uptempo stuff and leave the waltzes to the waltz professionals. Please.
Well, I had a bunch of things that I just wasn't happy enough with as far as the remaster process went that I wanted to share earlier, but finally got around to cleaning them up some more. Let's begin with another Cal Stewart story, this one concerning that fine walk spoiled by frustration: "Uncle Josh Playing Golf". This recoring had a HUGE crack in it, so you'll hear some thumping through the first half, but, for a Victor 'Grand Prize' label, it's sufficiently old enough that I guess it can be excused, somewhat. And dig the pronounciation of 'gol-f'....
We'll switch gears from whacking golf balls to whacking drum skins with a couple by Gene Krupa, from the mid 40s. Irene Daye takes us on a stroll with a number about a Cuban dance instructor, "Six Lessons from Madame LaZonga". The Columbia pressing was fairly worn, but I managed to get a decent run at it... also the recording engineer rolled off the highs so badly, it made it somewhat easier to get a lot of the groove wear out of this one. Gene's band kicks, as you can see, and it is a humerous number for Irene. The flip side, "No Name Jive", is all Gene. Some very nice drumming here, ladies and gentlemen, it's just too bad that (1) the groove wear made this one real hard to get something out of, and (2) the same recording engineer rolled off a good portion of the top end... again. Maybe he was related to Thomas Alva [Edison]?
Going back a few years, let's touch upon the country-type genre. Vernon Dalhart recorded many a folk and western song on Victor before the Western genre became nationally popular. Carson Robison did much the same, only with more folk type style. Here they team up for a pair on a Victor electrical disc, with a good string band behind them. "My Blue Ridge Mountain Home" and "Golden Slippers" show why the country-folk-Appalachia sound was really suited for electrical recording, as the horn just couldn't get the nuances down well.
Some time ago, I posted "Sailin' On" by Ben Black & His Orchestra. Well, I remastered it again, this time with MUCH better results. I also added the Impaler Touch to the flip side, "Moonlit Waters". Again, I think you'll find an enjoyable record, albeit with just a touch of plagarism from the Masters... but, hey, it's all for a good swoon with your June as you croon the silly tune 'neath the moon....
Now, in case you were wondering, I do have a couple more German things to get to you, so I'll just hit them quickly...
Some nice singing by Frieda Benneche in the German folk-lieder style on this US Victor bat-wing acoustical record, actually... no major warble, just a couple of interesting numbers for the German audience..."Freut euch des Lebens", and "Treue Liebe". Ahhh, true love.... just makes all the snow want to go away... but PLEASE keep the birds OFF of the records!
Another interesting German singer here, Georg Gut. Recorded in Germany and released in the US on Columbia ethnic green label (12-inch disc, no less), Herr Gut sings "In meinen kleine Konditorei", and "Wenn du einmal dein Herz verschennst dan Schenk' es mir". REstaurants and love? My German once again fails me. But Herr Gut does a credible job on these... electrical recordings, too, if my memory serves me...
I'll close this session out with a couple hot off the turntable, a pair of sides on a Romeo label disc that are good for the springtime and love and all that horseradish. I have NO idea who The Lumberjacks are, but they saw their way quite nicely through "Let Me Be Alone With You". Acoustic recording (of decent quality), no vocal credits, but still quite a hummable number. I'm gonna have to invest in a Rust's Discography book to help get me through this, I guess, as far as dates and personnel....
On the other side, Vincent Richards & His Orchestra take over the duties with an almost down-tempo 'pouty' love song, "I'd Rather Be Blue Over You". Nice muted cornet solo in this after the vocal (again uncredited), and the tuba player sure wants to get somewhere, but the drummer, with his work, keeps it in line.
OK, I'm outta here, hope you enjoy it, keep safe, and have fun! Congrats to Lee on his 100,000th hit on his blog, one day, maybe the Shanty will be as well travelled :)
Peace & Blessings,
Yes, Al Jolson last note is dreadful...