Eddie Condon

Midnight in Moscow/The Roaring Twenties

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A pair of dates from Eddie Condon & His All-Stars make up this Collectables two-fer. Both are quasi-concept albums, the first (1962's Midnight in Moscow) a swing-around-the-world session prompted by Kenny Ball's surprise hit with the title song one year earlier. The lineup includes trumpeter Bobby Hackett, pianist Dick Cary, Peanuts Hucko on clarinet, and Lou McGarity on trombone; Hucko, especially, does some great work during the opener, "Meadowland," and a stately version of "Londonderry Air." The second LP included on the program, 1957's The Roaring Twenties, salutes a host of jazz luminaries of the pre-swing era, from Lee Wiley and Turk Murphy to Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. Condon -- appearing with cornetist Wild Bill Davison, drummer George Wettling, clarinetist Bob Wilber, bassist Leonard Gaskin, and trombone player Vic Dickenson -- illustrates perfectly how much fun jazz was before it took itself seriously, jamming on "Minor Drag," "That's a Plenty," and ten other tunes.

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