Swingville All-Stars

Memphis Blues

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From 1961-1962, bassist Leonard Gaskin led three different albums under the title of "The Swingville All-Stars," and all of the music was reissued in 1997 on a pair of CDs. For this set, the first six tunes feature a basic rhythm section (pianist Red Richards, Gaskin, and drummer Herbie Lovelle) and two frontlines (trumpeter Herman Autry, trombonist Dickie Wells, and clarinetist Herbie Hall, or trumpeter Pee Wee Erwin, trombonist Big Chief Russell Moore, and tenor saxophonist Bud Freeman). The two sextets play a pair of hot numbers apiece, including "Ballin' the Jack" and "Farewell Blues"; Richards' trio is featured on "I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plans," and "Darktown Strutters' Ball" has all six horns jamming together. In addition, four of the eight selections from an odd set finds top Dixieland players (including trumpeter Sidney DeParis, trombonist Benny Morton, and clarinetist Kenny Davern) jamming songs associated with country music but also worthy vehicles for jazz solos, including "You Call Everybody Darling" and "Riders in the Sky." Along with the slightly superior At the Jazz Band Ball CD, this is easily recommended, since all of the musicians are heard throughout in prime form.

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