If you're fond of old Max Fleischer cartoons, chances are fairly good that you've tapped your foot to the sounds of Snooks Friedman's Memphis Stompers, as this snappy little group fortified some of those classic animation soundtracks with their special brand of hot dance music. Because Friedman is not mentioned in most standard jazz reference works, a 23-track sampler of his band's output from the years 1928-1931, which was released by Vintage Music Productions in 2001, stands as one of the few available monuments to his accomplishments. The first third of this collection is packed with authentically jazz-inspired dance music. After that, the texture gradually morphs into what Friedman and co. sounded like as the house band at the Paramount Hotel, where patrons and management clearly expected smoother, more pop-oriented background music with sweet vocals. The change was not absolute, as Friedman's unit periodically swung for dancing right up until they ceased recording in 1932. Dive in near the beginning of this valuable collection for a solid treatment of Jim Jackson's "Kansas City Blues" among a cluster of hot numbers, including what was probably the hardest-swinging version of the University of Alabama fight song ever committed to record during this time period.
AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf
feat: Ravi Bellare