Pianist Jess Stacy did not lead that many recording sessions during the swing era since he spent long periods playing with the big bands of Benny Goodman and Bob Crosby. This excellent CD contains his 21 selections as a leader from a four-year period. Stacy's three numbers from 1935 include a solo Bix Beiderbecke medley and two songs with bassist Israel Crosby and drummer Gene Krupa. In addition, this set has Stacy's eight piano solos for Commodore, a duet with Bud Freeman on tenor ("She's Funny That Way"), and eight very rare performances (plus an alternate take) cut for Varsity in 1939 that also feature trumpeter Billy Butterfield, tenor saxophonist Eddie Miller, and either clarinetist Hank d'Amico or Irving Fazola in an octet. This CD contains more than its share of gems.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow