After the Virginians (a group whose members were drawn from the early Paul Whiteman Orchestra), the Georgians were the first band-within-a-band in jazz. The sextet/septet was taken out of the more commercial Paul Specht Orchestra. This 1997 reissue CD has the first 24 recordings of this underrated group, and it is notable in several ways. Pianist Arthur Schutt's arrangements are pretty inventive for the period, the rhythm section (which also includes drummer Chauncey Morehouse) is subtle, and trumpeter Frank Guarente (the band's musical director) is quite effective both as the lead in the ensembles and in his short solos. Although not as significant as the New Orleans Rhythm Kings or King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, the Georgians were one of the finest hot dance/jazz bands of the era. Jazz historians and collectors of early 1920s music are well advised to pick up this highly enjoyable set.
Share this page