When one thinks of British music of the '30s, it is of polite society dance bands and sappy vocalists. This 22-song CD gives one a very different picture of the scene overseas. Twenty-two different bands (including those led by Fred Elizalde, Jack Hylton, Spike Hughes, Billy Cotton, Ray Noble and Ambrose) are represented by some of their hottest recordings. The music ranges from Dixieland-oriented tracks to sophisticated swing and, whether it be The Devonshire Restaurant Dance Band's rendition of "Sugar Foot Stomp," The Rhythm Maniacs' "That's a Plenty" or Ambrose's classic "Cotton Pickers' Congregation," this is a historic and very enjoyable reissue, made available by the Dutch Timeless label. Highly recommended to fans of swing who are tired of hearing the same familiar bands all the time.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow