Freddie Slack

Mosaic Select: Freddie Slack

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Freddie Slack was the pianist with Jimmy Dorsey's orchestra during part of the 1930s before becoming well known for playing boogie-woogie with Will Bradley's band, most notably on the hit "Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar." In 1941 Slack went out on his own, forming a big band that soon signed with the Capitol label. His hit recording of "Cow Cow Boogie" in 1942 with singer Ella Mae Morse made him famous even though none of his other records caught on at the same level. Slack's orchestra just lasted two years and, although he had a new band during 1945-1946, many of his recordings were made with small groups. With the exception of a slightly earlier four-song session for Decca, five songs that were purposely bypassed, and a 1955 album of boogie-woogie and re-creations, all of Slack's recordings as a leader are on this three-CD set. There are 17 previously unreleased performances, including a five-song session from 1946 and three numbers from 1952. It is particularly interesting to hear the influence of bebop being felt in Slack's playing and some of the arrangements although he mostly remained a swing stylist. While most of his sidemen are little known, T-Bone Walker pops up on a few numbers (including two features), guitarists Remo Palmieri, Al Hendrickson, and Tiny Timbrell are assets, and every vocal by Ella Mae Morse is well worth hearing. In addition, Johnny Mercer is a guest on several tunes. The three-fer is wrapped up by all seven recordings by drummer Ray McKinley's long-forgotten 1942 big band, a band with trumpeters Dick Cathcart and Pete Candoli, valve trombonist Brad Gowans, clarinetist Mahlon Clark, and pianist Lou Stein in the personnel. Overall, this is a well-conceived release of mostly obscure but worthy music.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 03:00 Amazon
2 03:14 Amazon
3
02:47 Amazon
4
02:42 Amazon
5
03:03 Amazon
6 02:57 Amazon
7
03:02 Amazon
8 03:18 Amazon
9 02:55 Amazon
10
03:13 Amazon
11 03:15 Amazon
12
02:36 Amazon
13
03:04 Amazon
14
03:11 Amazon
15
02:34 Amazon
16 03:01 Amazon
17
02:45 Amazon
18
03:09 Amazon
19 02:59 Amazon
20 03:01 Amazon
21 03:07 Amazon
22 03:03 Amazon
23 03:11 Amazon
24 02:54 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 03:08 Amazon
2
02:46 Amazon
3 02:40 Amazon
4 02:42 Amazon
5 02:55 Amazon
6 02:46 Amazon
7 02:45 Amazon
8 02:37 Amazon
9 03:01 Amazon
10 02:33 Amazon
11 02:53 Amazon
12
03:04 Amazon
13
02:52 Amazon
14
02:54 Amazon
15 02:27 Amazon
16 02:41 Amazon
17 02:24 Amazon
18
02:39 Amazon
19
03:13 Amazon
20 02:38 Amazon
21 02:49 Amazon
22
03:04 Amazon
23 02:58 Amazon
24 02:43 Amazon
25
02:57 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
02:57 Amazon
2
02:55 Amazon
3
02:52 Amazon
4 03:09 Amazon
5 02:54 Amazon
6
03:03 Amazon
7
03:00 Amazon
8 03:09 Amazon
9 02:57 Amazon
10
03:01 Amazon
11 02:19 Amazon
12 02:58 Amazon
13 02:39 Amazon
14
02:12 Amazon
15 02:18 Amazon
16 02:17 Amazon
17
feat: Ray McKinley
03:11 Amazon
18
feat: Ray McKinley
03:18 Amazon
19
feat: Ray McKinley
03:19 Amazon
20
feat: Ray McKinley
02:43 Amazon
21
feat: Ray McKinley
03:02 Amazon
22
feat: Ray McKinley
02:52 Amazon
23
feat: Ray McKinley
02:30 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick