Bix Beiderbecke

Great Original Performances: 1924-1930

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AllMusic Review by

This nicely remastered collection covers most of trumpeter Bix Beiderbecke's recording career up until his premature death in 1930. Jazz purists may have trouble with the few novelty vocal numbers here, including "Mississippi Mud" and "Barnacle Bill the Sailor" (recorded with the bands of Paul Whiteman and Hoagy Carmichael respectively), but they provide a nice contrast to the many instrumentals on the disc and feature some attractive, albeit brief solos by Beiderbecke. In addition to this later work, there's plenty of fine material from the trumpeter's watershed year of 1927, including classic numbers by Bix Beiderbecke & His Gang ("At the Jazz Band Ball," "Jazz Me Blues") and some quality cuts from sessions with Frankie Trumbauer ("There'll Come a Time"). On top of this, there's a decent version of "Copenhagen" from 1924, featuring Bix's first band, the Wolverines. While the disc's breadth should appeal to newcomers to Beiderbecke's work, the superior transfers by sound engineer Robert Parker will please audiophiles (some find Parker's use of light reverberation a bit troubling, but it actually helps give the recordings more presence than heard on many other compilations). Those wanting to get more of Beiderbecke's pinnacle work from 1927 should check out either Columbia's Singin' the Blues or JSP's Bix & Tram, Vol. 1.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:50
2 2:28
3 3:14
4 3:00
5 3:06
6 3:08
7 3:14
8 3:10
9 2:50
10 3:02
11 2:52
12 2:52
13 3:24
14 3:00
15 2:59
16 3:19
17 3:03
18 3:24
19 2:45
20 3:03
21 3:01
22 3:01
blue highlight denotes track pick