More from "Phonograph Monthly Review" (1928)

by David Tenner

"Seeger Ellis is best known as a tenor, but he proves that he can play as well as sing on 40970, piano solos, Poppin’ ’Em Out and Among My Souvenirs. The recording is excellent and the playing good, although by no means as sensational as that displayed by Bix Biederbecke with his recent In a Mist. One still awaits a solo record from Schutt!"

Note that the reviewer takes a rather condescending view of the "primitive" Louis Armstrong, and praises two Trumbauer recordings without noting that Bix is on them:

"Next comes Okeh 8535, the finest disk to date from that musical primitive, Louis Armstrong, and his Hot Seven. Savoy Blues possesses a wealth of orchestral moaning, modulated (for once from Armstrong) to a pitch that is quite bearable. Hotter than That on the reverse is both thin and unpleasant during its instrumental passages, but Armstrong’s insane wah-wah nonsense chorus outshines anything of the sort I have ever heard before. The reliable New Orleans Owls, another band which knows the secret of hot jazz which is strongly symphonic in treatment, are heard on Columbia 1261-D in Goose Pimples and Throwin’ the Horns. The latter piece contains a dialogue chorus which is one of the most delightful things since Joe Mannone’s Columbia Up the Country Blues. Finally comes Frankie Trumbauer in two of his invariably ingenious works, A Good Man is Hard to Find and Crying All Day (Okeh 40966). The former is good, with a very strange ending, but the latter is of marked excellence." Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol. 2, No. 6 (March 1928)


Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol. 2, No. 7 (April 1928)

"The hit of the month is beyond any doubt 01’ Man River from “The Show Boat,” one of the finest tunes of recent years, and one that should remain in vogue for an “indefinite run.” Paul Whiteman was the first in field with a dance version (Victor 21218), and is followed by Kenn Sisson (Brunswick 3766), and Don Vorhees (Columbia 1284-D). They can be ranked in that order : the latter two are good, but Whiteman for once is a whole lot better. His version will be a hard one to surpass; sturdy and sonorous, it is not only a fine piece of orchestral playing, but also a reading which gets the real juice out of the music, in contrast to Sisson’s and Vorhees’ easier going and less full-blooded performances. Mark down also high honors for the vocal choristers, all three of whom are fine, with Victor’s “Bing”’ Crosby slightly in the lead."

"The Okeh leaders are Trumbauer’s Mississippi Mud and There’ll Come a Time (40979), with a good chorus in the first, but less original playing than one has come to expect from this orchestra; the New Orleans Lucky Seven’s Goose Pimples and Royal Garden Blues on 8544 (is this any relation to the New Orleans Owls who play for Columbia, or the seldom heard Elgar’s Creole Orchestra who made the famous Brunswick Nightmare and Brotherly Love?); the Dorsey Brothers’ ultra-smooth quasi-concert version of Persian Rug and Mary Ann (40995) ; Miff Mole’s Honolulu Blues and the New Twister (40984)— good, but by no means the best that this superb organization can do when it buckles down to business; and more of the lively washboard work of the Chicago Footwarmers in My Baby and Oriental Man (8548)."

"Victor: ...Whiteman plays Lonely Melody, Ramona, Smile, Sunshine, and You Own Back Yard, all without distinction..." Needless to say, I don't agree, especially about Lonely Melody...


Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol. 2, No. 8 (May 1928)

"Bix Biederbecke and his Gang for Okeh provide the next leader, Sorry and Since My Best Gal Turned Me Down. This orchestra, so I am informed, is the same as that which
plays also for Okeh under the name of New Orleans Lucky Seven, and is no relation to the New Orleans Owls. I take the information on faith, although the style of playing here is not closely akin to that of the New Orleans Lucky Seven’s Royal Guard [sic!--DT] Blues of last month. The beginning of Since My Best Gal is» novel, and the changes of pace later in the record are very effective in both conception and execution..."

There is also a brief mention, without comment, of Whiteman's recordings of From Monday On and Coquette.


Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol. 2, No. 10 (July 1928)

"One of the two others in the first rank are Trumbauer’s Jubilee on Okeh 41044 with an inspired hymn-like 'motto' snatches of superb piannying, and an ending of sheer
genius. Trumbauer can be smooth as well as strident and Jubilee should score a real success..."

"Okeh: Trumbauer has an interesting Borneo coupled with a more commonplace My Pet on 41039..."


Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol. 2, No. 11 (August 1928)

"the best of the three Columbia Whiteman releases of the month, T’aint’s So Honey ’Tain’t So and That’s My Weakness, both with good beginnibgs, the former vocal and the
latter instrumental..."

"Paul Whiteman plays Chiquita and Lonesome on 1448-D and Because My Baby Don’t Mean Maybe and Just Like a Melody Out of the Sky on 1441-D — the former record is smooth enough, the latter rather colorless..."

"Victors as yet unmentioned include : "Whiteman plays the Pinkard Sugar on 21464, coupled with There Ain’t No Sweet Man That’s Worth the Salt of My Tears, with a brief timpani passage alone deserving comment..."


Phonograph Monthly Review, Vol. 3, No. 3 (December 1928)

"Paul Whiteman offers a twelve-inch coupling Sweet Sue Just You and ever-popular I Can’t Give You Anything But Love. All of these deserve warm praise..."

Posted on Mar 4, 2017, 10:27 PM

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