Irving Mills & His Hotsy Totsy Gang

Irving Mills and His Hotsy Totsy Gang, Vol. 1

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Irving Mills had a multifaceted career as a promoter (most notably for Duke Ellington), manager, occasional vocalist, and lyricist. From 1928-1930, he led and organized a series of recordings under the title of "the Hotsy Totsy Gang." The British Retrieval label reissued all of the music on three definitive LPs in the 1980s. The first album features music from five different studio bands with such young sidemen as cornetist Jimmy McPartland, Dudley Fosdick on mellophone, Jack Pettis on C-melody sax, guitarist Eddie Lang, drummer Ben Pollack, trombonist Jack Teagarden, and clarinetists Benny Goodman and Jimmy Dorsey, among others. Mills sings two songs. Among the hotter numbers are "Doin' the New Low Down," "Digga Digga Do," "Futuristic Rhythm," and "Out Where the Blues Began." Four alternate takes are included on this excellent set, which is highly recommended (if it can be found) to 1920s collectors.