Various Artists

Oriental Illusions

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This sampler from the Memphis Archives label consists of 16 songs that all have references to the Far East in their titles including "Singapore Sorrows," "Oriental Illusions," "China Boy," "China Girl" and "Hong Kong Blues." Some of the performances are instrumentals and, although a couple of the vocals on the other songs are (to put it lightly) unenlightened, the jazz content of these selections (which mix together famous records with true obscurities) is consistently high. Heard are Ben Pollack, Roane's Pennsylvanians, Slim Lamar's Southerners and McKenzie and Condon's Chicagoans, Hoagie Carmichael, Lionel Hampton, the Chicago Footwarmers ("Oriental Man" which stars clarinetist Johnny Dodds), the Chicago Rhythm Kings, Whitey Smith's Majestic Hotel Orchestra (who actually recorded in Shanghai), the Casa Loma Orchestra, Duke Ellington ("Limehouse Blues"), Friar's Society Orchestra, Louis Armstrong's Hot Five ("Oriental Strut"), Paul Whiteman, Sleepy Hall & His Collegians and Fletcher Henderson. There are enough rarities on this set to interest most 1920s collectors.

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