Eubie Blake

Eubie Blake/Frank Tanner

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Until he was "discovered" in 1968 when he was 86, pianist-composer Eubie Blake had a rather occasional recording career. He recorded a lot of titles during 1921-22 (some were duets with singer Noble Sissle), just a few other songs later in the decade and then, with the exception of 15 dance band recordings in 1931, a couple of piano solos in 1933 and one title in 1951, did not appear on a commercial record again until 1958. This Lp from the collector's label Harrison has seven of Blake's 1931 orchestra sides plus seven by the obscure San Antonio octet Frank Tanner's Rhythm Kings. Blake, other than his own occasional piano, did not have any major soloists in his dance band and the most dominant voice is actually singer Dick Robertson. Blake's Sept. 1931 rendition of Benny Carter's "Blues In My Heart" was one of the first on record but surprisingly he does not play any of his own compositions. Tanner's band has unidentified personnel and, although spirited, tends to be a bit erratic. This Lp is therefore primarily for collectors rather than for more general listeners.