This is the fourth volume in the German Trikont label's Flashbacks series, a nostalgia line that has ranged in content everywhere from popular war songs to gospel music and novelty tunes. This particular program is an especially varied one that revolves loosely around a blues theme. There's something here for almost every nostalgic taste: a sweetly kitschy and ultimately beautiful collaboration between the Ink Spots and a young Ella Fitzgerald ("I'm Making Believe"), a raunchy O'Neil Spencer tune called "Sweet Patootie," and a rather scratchy recording of Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo," for example. There's a surprise appearance from Charlie Christian (who would later go one to be one of the most influential guitarists in jazz) as a featured sideman with the Edmond Hall Celeste Quartet, and an absolutely stunning turn from Bessie Smith on "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out." But perhaps the single most lovely moment on this album comes courtesy of Dinah Shore, who delivers "Blues in the Night" with a cool aplomb that makes everyone else on the album sound vaguely frantic (well, everyone except Bessie Smith, of course). Highly recommended.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson