Frankie "Half-Pint" Jaxon (1927-1940)

Frankie "Half-Pint" Jaxon

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Frankie "Half-Pint" Jaxon (1927-1940) Review

by Scott Yanow

Frankie "Half-Pint" Jaxon definitely occupied his own musical niche. An eccentric singer who also worked as a female impersonator, Jaxon's music straddled the boundaries between jazz, blues and hokum. This 1989 CD sampling of his recordings (19 performances from a 13-year period) mostly consist of leftover tracks overlooked by other reissue programs although the Document series has since reissued the complete Half-Pint Jaxon. This version of "Operation Blues" was previously unissued, and four other numbers are taken from test pressings. The recording quality varies quite a bit from session to session, as does the personnel. Jaxon is heard backed by pianist Blanche Smith Watson, with a big band in 1933, and joined by such notable players as banjoist Ikey Robinson, pianist Georgia Tom Dorsey, cornetist Punch Miller and pianist Lil Armstrong, among many others. Some of the double-entendre songs are either obvious or silly, and Jaxon's occasional decision to play the part of a foolish woman may not be to everyone's taste, but there is some good music here. Among the selections are "Corinne Blues," "You Got to Wet It," "Chocolate to the Bone," "Spank It" and "When a Woman Gets the Blues."

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