Red Nichols

Rockin' in Rhythm

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Cornetist Red Nichols made his biggest impact in the late '20s when he recorded hundreds of colorful jazz numbers, but by the mid-'30s he was becoming largely forgotten. Nichols' big band, which is heard on this LP in 1934 ("Rockin' in Rhythm"), 1937 and 1939, did not have a strong personality or purpose of its own. In fact, other than pianist Billy Maxted and guitarist Mike Bryan (who have minor roles on a few of the songs), none of the sidemen ever became known for much. The music overall is routine swing with some hints of Nichols' Dixieland past but little memorable occurs despite some good playing. It would be a decade before Red Nichols made a full-fledged comeback; he treaded water during the swing era.