Yet another in the endless series of reissues that have flooded the international market since the early '90s due to Europe's 50-year copyright limit on recordings, this two-disc compilation looks at first like a different wrinkle on the Andrews Sisters; its title, Jazz & Blues, and the cover claim, "36 Outstanding Jazz Tracks," suggest that the selection will venture beyond the usual hits. And indeed, there are versions of such swing standards as "Sing, Sing, Sing," "In the Mood," "Don't Be That Way," and "Elmer's Tune," as well as rarely heard jump blues numbers like "House of Blue Lights" and "Hit the Road" included along with the sort of commercial novelty numbers that the Andrews Sisters were best known for. The track listing could have leaned more toward jazz and blues, but the basic problem with this set does not lie in the choice of songs; the main thing that's wrong here is sound quality. Europe's release of copyrighted recordings into the public domain does not allow competitors into the vaults of the record companies that still claim ownership to the material in the U.S., and this collection has been copied from sources several generations removed from the master recordings, probably from 78s which were then subjected to sound processing that removed the upper and lower frequencies along with clicks and hiss. The result is a distant, muffled sound. Of course, there are no annotations, either. Someone really should compile an Andrews Sisters collection of their jazzier and bluesier sides. Unfortunately, this isn't it.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann