Jazz » Retrospective
Jazz history has produced few masters to rival the phenomenal technical mastery of William C. “Buster” Bailey (1902-1967). Given different social conditions he might have forged a career as a classical soloist, but it was as a superlative jazz performer that his long career (46 years!) almost traced the development of the form, from its earliest days right through to the Sixties. Retrospective’s Memphis Blues presents 47 remarkable examples of his ... [MORE]
Am I Blue? Offers a marvellous cross-section from the best of one of the finest of all jazz-styled vocalists, the pioneering Ethel Waters (1896-1977). Starting out as a blues/vaudeville singer, the black American singer, entertainer, and later accomplished actress on stage and screen, became one of the era’s most accomplished and sensitive interpreters of popular songs. Essentially a jazz singer with a polished and smooth, blues-infected style, one of the ... [MORE]
Uniquely among the great American jazz trumpeters, Bill Coleman (1904-1981) spent the major part of his career in Paris. Two generously filled CDs present the cream of Bill Coleman’s artistry from his remarkable first sessions under his own name in 1936 and his classic dates with Fats Waller, through 24 years of memorable performances to the late 50s, still playing with the same relaxed strength and creative ingenuity which marked his entire career. The ... [MORE]
Here is a double album that represents the apogee of the decade known as “The Roaring Twenties”. It contains no fewer than the 48 biggest hits of the final two years before the world plunged into the Great Depression: music of happy hedonism can be enjoyed with each track performed by the original artists. 20 discs topped the best-sellers – the biggest being Al Jolson’s Sonny Boy in 1928 and Nick Lucas’ Tiptoe Through The Tulips in 1929 – while 16 songs ... [MORE]
Tommy Dorsey once dubbed Charlie Shavers the greatest trumpeter of them all, a view that this generous survey of his remarkable career does much to endorse. The 46 tracks display the sheer range of his abilities. His earliest, often muted, playing with the bands of such as Jimmie Noone, Johnny Dodds and his breakthrough with John Kirby’s sextet at a surprisingly young age (also composing and arranging) are well represented – including of course his ... [MORE]
An exuberant collection of the best of Louis Prima (1911-1978), this hugely entertaining pair of CDs shows just why he was one of the favourite entertainers of the last century. New Orleans-born Prima, the son of Italian immigrants, was one of the last century’s most irresistible performers. Like his idol Louis Armstrong, he was a fine trumpeter, singer, bandleader and extrovert entertainer. His inspirational trumpet style, self-taught, was based on ... [MORE]
Retrospective presents a new double album devoted to one of the most distinctive and innovative trombonists of them all: Vic Dickenson. The 34 tracks, all definitive examples of his art, give a career summary from his first recording in 1930 (as a singer!) through to the 1961 solo, Vic’s Spot. In between Vic plays with many of the jazz greats of the 40s and 50s: Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Sidney De Paris, Bobby Hackett, Pee Wee Russell, Eddie Condon ... [MORE]
Celebrating the centenary on 15th March of Harry James (1915-1983), this Retrospective compilation of 50 classics throws renewed light on a trumpeter who belongs amongst the very greatest in all of jazz music. The survey covers every aspect of his fabulous career, from his first recording sessions as a 21-year-old with Ben Pollack’s band Spreadin’ Knowledge Around – already with a salvo-level solo), through to joyful examples of 'Double Dixie' from ... [MORE]
Taking New York's 'A' Train to Duke Ellington's Harlem office inspired pianist-composer-arranger-lyricist Billy Strayhorn (1915-1967) to create his most famous work, signalling the start of a 27 year-long collaboration with the Duke. With Lush Life, Retrospective celebrates the centenary of this relatively unsung jazz genius, who notewriter Digby Fairweather describes as one of jazz music's most prodigious yet obscured talents. This unique ... [MORE]
It was because of his popularity with the girls that Lester Young gave Harry Edison (1915-1999) the nickname 'Sweets'. But, as notewriter Digby Fairweather comments, beneath the sweetness lay a jazz conqueror who created his own starry place in the jazz firmament – and his legacy is here on Retrospective’s Edison Inventions. He may never have achieved the innovative multiplicities of his forefather Thomas. But what he did invent was what every jazz ... [MORE]
Adding to Retrospective’s growing roster of great jazz trumpeters is this, the finest 2CDset available devoted to the career of one of the all-time great jazz entertainers, one-armed trumpeter Wingy Manone. The New Orleans trumpeter, Joseph 'Wingy' Manone (1904-1982) was one of those rare artists who overcame physical disability to reach the very top. Despite losing his right arm in a road accident as a child, he became one of the finest front-line ... [MORE]
Another superb jazz release from Retrospective, this time celebrating the centenary of that great jazz trombonist George Chisholm (1914-1997), the 'Gentleman of Jazz'. Many remember him primarily as a TV entertainer on such as The Black and White Minstrel Show, yet Europe has produced few jazz masters to rival him. Disc one (1937-1944) of our 2CD survey presents George from his very first studio session as a trombonist (with Gerry Moore in 1937), through ... [MORE]
Another superb jazz release from Retrospective! Trombonist Wilbur De Paris (1900-1973) had a long apprenticeship, with Duke Ellington among others, before he was able to express his own ideas with his own band, but his golden years of the 50s, enshrined on these two Retrospective CDs, genuinely extended the boundaries of traditional jazz. For him, jazz was never history it was a living art and as hot as mustard. His New Orleans Jazz was always “New”. From ... [MORE]
Magnificent Muggsy! Another of the all-time greats of jazz trumpet is added to the Retrospective roster. Inspired by King Oliver, Chicago-born Francis Joseph Julian “Muggsy” Spanier (1901–1967) developed a unique sound for his cornet playing – especially a wonderful skill with mutes – and a lusty, driving lead to his Dixieland-style bands. Relaxin’ At The Touro (his tribute to the doctor who saved his life in 1938 at the Touro Infirmary) has been taken as ... [MORE]
A great introduction to one of the finest of all jazz trumpeters. Henry 'Red' Allen (1908-1967) was described as the last great trumpeter to come out of New Orleans. A unique artist, he was, along with Louis Armstrong, the outstanding stylist of the 30s for his instrument, and won a high reputation as a close rival to Armstrong. His hard-hitting style really swung with an irresistibly fierce drive. He splayed his solos across bar-lines with the ... [MORE]
Critics may not have allowed cornettist Ernest Loring 'Red' Nichols (1905-1965) the genius of an Armstrong or a Beiderbecke but, apart from being a magnificent player, he was a unique catalyst and under his leadership, his celebrated Five Pennies created some of the finest 'white jazz' of all time.
Uniquely, Retrospective offers both sides of The Five Pennies. Disc One collects together 26 glorious originals from Red Nichols’ vintage years of ... [MORE]
Retrospective celebrates the centenary of 'Mad Mab' – the saxophonist bandleader Charlie Barnet (1913-1991) – with a superb double CD selection of his great band in full flight during its finest years. He led one of the very best big bands of the 40s. A millionaire playboy, he lived riotously and married, it is said, 11 times. But musically he would not compromise he always got his way, as in his pioneering employment of black musicians in a 1930s white ... [MORE]
South Rampart Street Parade (their most popular number) is the finest double-album Bob Crosby survey available, collecting together all the 52 finest recordings by the Crosby Orchestra and the superb band-within-a-band, The Bob Cats. Bing himself drops in for a No.1 hit You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby, as do The Andrews Sisters, Connee Boswell, Helen Ward and a 14-year-old Judy Garland making her debut. This is white jazz of the Thirties ... [MORE]
A superb two-CD survey of one of jazz’ all-time greats, Lionel Hampton – the virtuoso of the vibes. Lionel Hampton (1908-2002) was a true giant of jazz, aflamboyant showman who was an indefatigable bandleader, drummer, pianist, singer and, above all, the most famous vibraphone player in jazz history – the first to use it as other than a novelty.
Retrospective’s tribute Flying Home (his band’s signature tune) offers well over one-and-a-half hours of ... [MORE]
The definitive album of wartime nostalgia: 20 forces' sweethearts and 21 of their heart-throb male counterparts sing 50 great songs, mostly on the theme of parted lovers.
For all the soldiers, sailors and airmen parted from their loved ones during World War II, solace was provided by the nostalgic yearnings typical of the wartime recordings made by the 20 forces' sweethearts featured on disc one of this unique collection. Here are 23 great songs, full ... [MORE]
The definitive album of wartime nostalgia - 20 forces' sweethearts and 21 of their heart-throb male counterparts sing 50 great songs, mostly on the theme of parted lovers.
For all the soldiers, sailors and airmen parted from their loved ones during World War II, solace was provided by the nostalgic yearnings typical of the wartime recordings made by the 20 forces' sweethearts featured on disc one of this unique collection. Here are 23 great songs, ... [MORE]
A magnificent double CD celebrates the artistry of the greatest jazz trombonist of them all, with a summary of his very finest work from 1928 to 1954.
The name of 'Big T', Texan Jack Teagarden (1905-1964), is a two-word definition of jazz trombone. He was indisputably the greatest trombone soloist in jazz history, setting a new standard in the 20s and creating a totally new approach. With his lazy Texan drawl, Teagarden was almost equally revered as ... [MORE]
Here is the most famous jazz drummer of them all, Gene Krupa, in a superb double CD retrospective of his phenomenal career.
The name Gene Krupa (1909-1973) is synonymous with a driving drum style and dynamic showmanship, qualitiesthat made the Chicago-born drummer one of the musical giants of the Swing Era. Behind his flamboyant public image was a serious and self-disciplined musician who created some of the great jazz of the period. Drummin' ... [MORE]
Children of all ages cannot fail to respond to this extraordinary collection of 48 childhood favourites from half a century ago, all with the original artists.
Listening to ‘Children’s Favourites’ was a Saturday morning ritual for millions in those unsophisticated, far off days of innocence, and – younever know – perhaps even today’s youngster might still be as entranced as his parents and grandparents were by this remarkable collection of 48 vintage ... [MORE]
Cornettist Leon Bismark 'Bix' Beiderbecke (1903-1931) was a classic jazz innovator of iconic status. His appallingly early death at only 28, after a mere six years’ recording career, has led to much romantically-assembled myth and legend as the archetypal troubled creator whose gifts are terminated too soon by life’s cruelties. But it was of course his music that came first. That, as this collection conclusively illustrates, is where the story really ... [MORE]