Norfolk Jazz & Jubilee Quartet

Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 (1923-1925)

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Following the sudden and violent death of tenor singer James "Buddy" Butts in August 1922, the vocal group known either as the Norfolk Jazz Quartet or the Norfolk Jubilee Quartet gradually began to shift their focus from the secular vaudeville blues approach to the sacred song repertoire that would utterly dominate their output for a two-year stretch beginning in February 1927. The second installment in Document's six-volume series devoted to the Norfolk Jazz & Jubilee Quartets chronicles their Paramount recordings with a sequential array of 23 sides dating from April 1923 through March 1925. The post-Buddy Butts lineup, which would remain unchanged almost through to the end of their final Paramount session in February 1929, consisted of lead vocalist Otto Tuston, tenor voice Norman "Crip" Harris, baritone Delroy Hollins, and bass singer Len Williams, who also served as the group's manager. Already the spirituals and gospel tunes vastly outnumber the more worldly titles, which are "Raise R-U-K-U-S- Tonight," "Dixie Blues," "Jelly Roll's First Cousin," and "Pleading Blues," which is unfortunately quite scratchy and contains a skip which, the producers inform us in writing, "...is on the original disc". Hopefully, these treasures of early 20th century African-American culture will reappear in a comparably thorough edition after having been processed using state of the art noise reduction technology.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:47
2
2:58
3
2:57
4
3:05
5
3:17
6
2:58
7
2:57
8
2:56
9
2:39
10
2:51
11
2:57
12
3:09
13 3:05
14
2:45
15
2:59
16
2:53
17
3:14
18
2:52
19
3:08
20
3:09
21
3:10
22
3:01
23
2:24
blue highlight denotes track pick