Jay McShann

The Band That Jumps the Blues!

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This collector's LP from the British Black Lion label features pianist Jay McShann during his post-war period, when he was often based in Los Angeles and recording for Swingtime. McShann backs singer Jimmy Witherspoon on "Skid Row Blues" (the alternate take is the one included), and vocalist Crown Prince Waterford is on one number. Otherwise, McShann heads medium-size bands from 1948-49 that mostly lack any big names, although the young trumpeter Art Farmer and tenor saxophonist Maxwell Davis make appearances. There are a few vocals by Lois Booker and Maxine Reed, but the emphasis is on ensemble work and concise solos that fall between swing and early R&B. Spirited music, most of which has not been fully reissued on CD yet.