Whether they were doing jazz, blues, or pop, the Boswell Sisters made anything swing -- in fact, as this 18-song collection reveals, they made everything swing. There are surprising vocal vamps and tempo shifts throughout this CD, taking listeners by surprise and carrying them in unexpected directions. "It's the Girl" is a simple little number that takes off, lofted on those three voices, and never comes back to earth. "Lawd, You Made the Night Too Long" is almost a conceptual piece, clocking in at an extraordinary five minutes (unusual in a 1932 record) and offering Bing Crosby and Don Redman & His Orchestra joining the Boswells in a multi-part piece that is equal parts blues and gospel. And then there is their version of "Shuffle Off to Buffalo," a jumping rendition with a whole new set of accents and tempo changes that will be new to anyone who thinks they know the song from the movie 42nd Street. And "Mood Indigo" makes a brilliantly sung blues showcase in the trio's hands. Most of the tracks feature the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra backing the trio, though a few are arranged for smaller ensembles, such as "Old Yazoo," on which they're backed by guitarist Dick McDonough and bassist Artie Bernstein, with Martha Boswell on the piano. Pro Arte's restoration job on these 60-year-old masters is admirable -- the music sounds amazingly clean (in fact, better than when it was new) without any sacrifice to the period feel.
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AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder