Alex Hyde

Jazz and Hot Dance in Germany: Alex Hyde Vol. 1 1924

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This peculiar little album documents 12 majestically silly recordings made by Alex Hyde & His New York Orchestra in Berlin during May 1924 and subsequently issued on the Vox label. Although this band was an instant hit among Berliners at the time, the citizenry had little or nothing to compare it with and seem to have enjoyed the corn with pleasantly beer-induced enthusiasm. "Linger Awhile" is profoundly weird, as is "Yes We Have No Bananas." Hyde's band of 1925 is said to have made much better records largely because most of the players had actual jazz chops. The only really adept jazz musician in this 1924 troupe was reedman Edwin "Eddie" Grosso, and despite his best efforts the band sounds like a slightly intoxicated long-lost pit orchestra throughout. Fans of archaic corn and obscure salon music will therefore be extremely pleased with this material. A pair of novelty ragtime piano performances recorded for Vox during May of 1924 by Hyde's zippy pianists Walker "Wally" O'Neill and Ray Allan are to be found sequestered within this package like a couple of petrified marzipans.