Various Artists

Classic Small Groups, Vol. 1

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The Meritt label in the early '80s came out with a series of recordings that early jazz collectors love (despite the budget packaging) because they generally consist of alternate takes and unreleased material. This LP lives up to its name for two songs feature trombonist Jack Teagarden and pianist Fats Waller, clarinetist Joe Marsala leads his Chicagoans on "Clarinet Marmalade," trumpeter Paul Mares is heard on alternate versions of four numbers he recorded in 1935 and there are nine performances from dates led by trumpeter Wingy Manone. Although in all cases these were "rejected" takes, the music is consistently excellent.