The Black Gypsy moniker originates from South's 1928 visit to Budapest, where he became enthralled by the local gypsy music. In fact, the Missouri native would often utilize these rhythms throughout a career that lasted until the early '60s. He also found inspiration in classical music, but found his degree from Chicago Music School meant nothing in a concert hall world that black virtuosos were forbidden from. Luckily, South found a way to translate his conservatory technique into the sophisticated swing heard on the many fine recordings he cut during the '20s, '30s, and '40s. And while some of his best sides were recorded in 1937 at a Parisian session with Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, South's earlier work deserves attention as well. Along with a disc on the Classics label, this Frog collection of 1927-1934 sides fills the void nicely with its top-notch sound and several previously unissued performances and alternate takes. Mostly recorded in Chicago and New York, the 25 numbers feature South on both violin and vocals, accompanied by the likes of Armstrong-regular Everett Barksdale on banjo and Milt Hinton on bass. A welcome addition to the Eddie South catalog.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook