Various Artists

Screwballs in Swingtime

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This LP collects together 15 humorous satires and novelties that mostly date from the swing era. Eight of the performances qualify as classics of their kind: Bud Freeman's "For Musicians Only" and "Latest Thing in Hot Jazz" (satires of "ultramodern jazz music"); Tommy Dorsey's "Am I Dreaming," which makes fun of many 1930s sweet bands; Charlie Barnet's hilarious depiction of Dixieland on "Darktown Strutters Ball"; Jimmy Dorsey's fantasy of Ted Lewis meeting Clyde McCoy on "What's the Reason I'm Not Pleasing You"; Freddie Fisher's destruction of bebop on "Schnickelbop"; a "remarkable" Benny Goodman/Stan Kenton vocal duet on "Happy Blues"; and Stan Kenton's impressions of R&B and Dixieland on "Blues in Burlesque." The other seven numbers have their moments, but it is these eight selections that are quite memorable. Highly recommended for jazz collectors with a strong sense of humor.