This is an intriguing CD for it features all of the music that the American Record Corporation (ARC) recorded during a field trip to Hot Springs Arkansas in March 1937 other than some gospel performers. The performances (originally released on the Vocalion, Melotone, and Perfect labels) range from big band swing to Western swing and blues. The 28 selections on this generous CD include cuts by the Range Riders (a solid Western swing band with a weak saxophonist), Fats Smith's Rhythm Kings, Three Fifteen & His Squares, the Original Yellowjackets, trumpeter Ike Ragon's Orchestra, Albert Gale's Orchestra, Tommy Settles, and Jazzbo Tommy's Lowlanders. Not all of the selections are of equal quality and some of the styles and songs were already several years behind the times, but overall the music is quite enjoyable. Best are the six selections from the Original Yellowjackets, an excellent no-name nine-piece group that could have gone much further if they had moved up North. Serious early jazz collectors will definitely want this CD.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow