Bix Beiderbecke

The Bix Beiderbecke Story, Vol. 1: Bix and His Gang

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During the nine months covered by this 1960s LP (which was available for nearly 20 years), cornetist Bix Beiderbecke recorded 13 selections with "His Gang"; a dozen (all but "Margie," which is on Vol. 3) are on this album. These are among the most Dixielandish and freewheeling of Bix's records. The brilliant cornetist is teamed with trombonist Bill Rank, either Don Murray or Izzy Friedman on clarinet, Adrian Rollini or Min Leibrook on bass sax, Frank Signorelli or Lennie Hayton on piano, banjoist Howdy Quicksell, and Chauncey Morehouse or Harry Gale on drums. Although the ensembles would have been improved if a string bassist had been in the group, these are very enjoyable performances and were quite influential. Among the more notable selections are Beiderbecke's versions of "At the Jazz Band Ball," "Royal Garden Blues," "Since My Best Gal Turned Me Down," "Somebody Stole My Gal" and "Louisiana." Although the first two of the five sessions have since been reissued on the Columbia CD At the Jazz Band Ball, the other numbers have thus far only been reissued by collectors and European labels.