The bebop era may have been raging during the period covered by this CD, but trumpeter-singer Hot Lips Page stuck to his swing/Dixieland/blues style. Although commercial success would largely elude him, Page is heard in prime form on the 23 formerly rare performances included on this valuable CD. Other than one cut from 1946, the music is from 1947 and 1949-1950. Page (whose voice had become a bit raspier through the years) digs into four instrumentals and four vocals with a medium-size group in 1947; four of the titles were previously unreleased. He is also heard with slightly later combos, on two numbers with strings and a choir, and on a very successful four-song session in which he interacts vocally with Pearl Bailey; their version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" is classic. Other highlights include "St. James Infirmary," "Fat Stuff," "Don't Tell a Man About His Woman," "The Hucklebuck," and "Ain't No Flies on Me." Recommended.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow
feat: Hot Lips Page & His Band