The Mound City Blue Blowers originally made history with a dozen high-quality novelty recordings during 1924-25 that featured the trio of Red McKenzie's comb, Dick Slevin's kazoo and banjoist Jack Bland; guitarist Eddie Lang solidified the rhythm on their later six numbers. However, other than McKenzie's participation, those dates had little to do with the 25 recordings on this Classics CD, the last issued under the Mound City Blue Blowers' name. In fact, other than taking four vocals on the first date, McKenzie makes only cameo appearances on kazoo during the remainder of the program, although he had clearly organized the bands. The six sessions feature overlapping personnel with some hot playing from either Bunny Berigan (on four of the dates) or Yank Lawson on trumpet and Eddie Miller or Forrest Crawford on tenor and clarinet. In addition to McKenzie, guitarist Nappy Lamare has eight vocals; there are also five from Billy Wilson, four from Spooky Dickenson and two by a vocal group. Only "High Society" and "Muskrat Ramble" are instrumentals, although there are strong solos on nearly every number. The music falls between Dixieland and small-group swing and is most notable for the playing of Berigan.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow