The crossover between jazz and country music was at its peak in the late 1930s with the rise of Western swing, which was essentially swinging jazz that utilized the instruments (and sometimes the melodies) of rural white America. However a decade earlier, a few vocalists who helped pioneer country music sometimes sang blues and used jazz musicians. This CD has eight numbers by Jimmie Rodgers (including "Blue Yodel No. 9" with Louis Armstrong), nine songs from Roy Evans (assisted along the way by pianist James P. Johnson, the Dorsey Brothers and Benny Goodman), and the final rare session by minstrel singer Emmett Miller from 1936. Although it can be a bit disconcerting to hear occasional yodels in these settings, the performances generally work quite well and certainly hold one's interest.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow