Red McKenzie

Just Friends

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Just Friends Review

by Scott Yanow

Red McKenzie was more important as a talent scout and comb player in the 1920s than he was as a singer. This collector's LP, however, puts the focus on McKenzie's reasonably pleasing singing. He is heard with the Midnight Airedales (a studio group including cornetist Red Nichols and trombonist Glenn Miller) for two numbers from 1929, on eight selections from 1931 and 1932 (including "Just Friends" and "Can't We Talk It Over," plus an alternate take of "Time On My Hands") with an unknown studio group, and a 1936 radio broadcast with the Jerry Sears orchestra. Vintage jazz collectors will be interested in this music, although the results are more pleasant than essential.