Freddie Slack

Mosaic Select: Freddie Slack

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Freddie Slack was the pianist with Jimmy Dorsey's orchestra during part of the 1930s before becoming well known for playing boogie-woogie with Will Bradley's band, most notably on the hit "Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar." In 1941 Slack went out on his own, forming a big band that soon signed with the Capitol label. His hit recording of "Cow Cow Boogie" in 1942 with singer Ella Mae Morse made him famous even though none of his other records caught on at the same level. Slack's orchestra just lasted two years and, although he had a new band during 1945-1946, many of his recordings were made with small groups. With the exception of a slightly earlier four-song session for Decca, five songs that were purposely bypassed, and a 1955 album of boogie-woogie and re-creations, all of Slack's recordings as a leader are on this three-CD set. There are 17 previously unreleased performances, including a five-song session from 1946 and three numbers from 1952. It is particularly interesting to hear the influence of bebop being felt in Slack's playing and some of the arrangements although he mostly remained a swing stylist. While most of his sidemen are little known, T-Bone Walker pops up on a few numbers (including two features), guitarists Remo Palmieri, Al Hendrickson, and Tiny Timbrell are assets, and every vocal by Ella Mae Morse is well worth hearing. In addition, Johnny Mercer is a guest on several tunes. The three-fer is wrapped up by all seven recordings by drummer Ray McKinley's long-forgotten 1942 big band, a band with trumpeters Dick Cathcart and Pete Candoli, valve trombonist Brad Gowans, clarinetist Mahlon Clark, and pianist Lou Stein in the personnel. Overall, this is a well-conceived release of mostly obscure but worthy music.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:00
2 3:14
3
2:47
4
2:42
5
3:03
6 2:57
7
3:02
8 3:18
9 2:55
10
3:13
11 3:15
12
2:36
13
3:04
14
3:11
15
2:34
16 3:01
17
2:45
18
3:09
19 2:59
20 3:01
21 3:07
22 3:03
23 3:11
24 2:54

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:08
2
2:46
3 2:40
4 2:42
5 2:55
6 2:46
7 2:45
8 2:37
9 3:01
10 2:33
11 2:53
12
3:04
13
2:52
14
2:54
15 2:27
16 2:41
17 2:24
18
2:39
19
3:13
20 2:38
21 2:49
22
3:04
23 2:58
24 2:43
25
2:57

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:57
2
2:55
3
2:52
4 3:09
5 2:54
6
3:03
7
3:00
8 3:09
9 2:57
10
3:01
11 2:19
12 2:58
13 2:39
14
2:12
15 2:18
16 2:17
17
feat: Ray McKinley
3:11
18
feat: Ray McKinley
3:18
19
feat: Ray McKinley
3:19
20
feat: Ray McKinley
2:43
21
feat: Ray McKinley
3:02
22
feat: Ray McKinley
2:52
23
feat: Ray McKinley
2:30
blue highlight denotes track pick