All of Red McKenzie's early recordings have been made available on two Sensation CDs. The second volume starts off with four numbers from 1927-1928 by McKenzie's Music Box, which teams the singer and his comb (which sounds like a kazoo) with violinist Joe Venuti, guitarist Eddie Lang, and (on two of the songs) banjoist Eddie Condon. McKenzie is featured on five sessions with his Mound City Blue Blowers from 1929-1931, mostly all-star groups with the likes of Gene Krupa, Jack Teagarden (who is showcased on two numbers), Pops Foster, Benny Goodman, Bud Freeman, Fats Waller, Muggsy Spanier, and Jimmy Dorsey having their spots. Best is the "Hello Lola"/"One Hour" pairing, which has a classic Coleman Hawkins ballad interpretation on the latter and hot solos on "Hello Lola" by Hawkins, Pee Wee Russell, and Glenn Miller (his greatest-recorded trombone solo). McKenzie's comb was heard for the last time on the June 30, 1931, date. This CD concludes with Red McKenzie taking eight ballad vocals with an orchestra from 1931-1932, sounding properly expressive but not creating much of a stir. Highly recommended overall, as is volume one.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow