King Oliver

King Oliver & His Orchestra (1929-1930) [RCA France]

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Much more complete than any domestic reissue, this double-CD from French RCA in their Jazz Tribune series (a straight duplication of the earlier two-LP set) features the influential cornetist King Oliver in many of his final recordings. Oliver was finding it increasingly painful to play during this era (in fact Louis Metcalf and Punch Miller substitute for him on the first seven selections), but ironically, he had one of his finest bands at the time. He does take a particularly heroic solo on "Too Late" (one of the highpoints of his career), and on a few other tracks, but the main reason for the performances' success is the high-quality musicianship of Oliver's hot dance band. Such soloists as trumpeters Bubber Miley (featured on "St. James Infirmary"), and Red Allen, trombonist Jimmy Archey, altoist Hilton Jefferson, and a variety of lesser-known but talented players make each of the 32 recordings well-worth hearing. Recommended to fans of pre-swing big bands and classic jazz.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:38
2 3:28
3 3:23
4 3:15
5 3:12
6 3:16
7 2:57
8 3:09
9 3:26
10 3:08
11 2:46
12 2:50
13 2:41
14 3:09
15 3:19
16 2:42
blue highlight denotes track pick