The 22 songs on this CD represent the tail-end of the late period of Ted Lewis' fame and influence, when his band was at its peak for personnel -- Muggsy Spanier, George Brunies, Jimmy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Jack Teagarden, and Frank Teschemacher are all over this material, with Fats Waller at the piano and singing on a trio of numbers. The quality of the transfers varies (there is noise on some of these tracks, some of it considerable at times), and the material ranges from feel-good Depression-era numbers like "Laughing at Life" and "Headin' for Better Times" to some quite effective blues, and some hot solos all over the place. Nine of the cuts overlap with tracks that appear on Is Everybody Happy Now?, and between the two discs one gets a fair picture of Lewis, though Sony-Legacy ought to release a definitive two-CD set of Lewis' best sides someday.
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AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder