This 1997 reissue CD has all of the music (with one unfortunate exception) from three very interesting and generally heated V-Disc sessions of 1944-45. Cornetist Muggsy Spanier leads an impressive octet (with trombonist Lou McGarity, clarinetist Pee Wee Russell and tenorman Boomie Richman) on five numbers including "That's A Plenty" and "Pee Wee Speaks," which has an eccentric "vocal" by the clarinetist. He also heads a slightly later octet that includes McGarity, clarinetist Peanuts Hucko and Bud Freeman on tenor. In addition to the master takes of five selections, there are also seven breakdowns and three full-length alternate takes. The final set is Freeman's famous V-Disc session with trumpeter Yank Lawson, trombonist Bill Mustarde and Hucko. While "Love Is Just Around the Corner" and "Coquette" are excellent performances, "For Musicians Only" and "The Latest Thing In Hot Jazz" are famous satires with Freeman making fun of various then-current musical trends. But unfortunately, his often-hilarious, two-minute verbal introduction of the former is unaccountably missing. Other than that flaw, this is a CD that all trad jazz fans will enjoy. Freeman (particularly on the various versions of "You Took Advantage of Me") is the main star.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow