This intriguing CD is a companion to the book Stomp and Swerve: American Music Gets Hot 1843-1924 written by David Wondrich. Wondrich also contributed to the disc's very informative liner notes. The program is full of rarities and strong glimpses of the great banjoists and drummers who were active before 1920. With the exception of a few racist songs that did not need to be included (including "All Coons Look Alike to Me," which was ironically written by a black songwriter and is on the CD as an example of the segregationist times), this set is pretty valuable. There are examples of orchestral and banjo ragtime, some tunes from the minstrel shows, dance music, marches, and the two hits (the Original Dixieland Jazz Band's "Livery Stable Blues" and Mamie Smith's "Crazy Blues") that permanently changed the music world. Among the most interesting selections are a few that are almost jazz and date from just before the ODJB recorded, including the Versatile Four's "Circus Day in Dixie" and the completely obscure Haenschen-Schiffer piano-drums duet on "Sunset Medley." As with virtually all of the Archeophone releases, Stomp and Swerve is highly recommended to collectors of early American recordings.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow