Ed Kirkeby was best known as a manager whose clients included Fats Waller. However, he was also a decent singer who headed a series of recording sessions during the period covered by this CD. Kirkeby actually makes only a few appearances on these titles, and other singers such as Russell Douglas, Sammy Fain, Artie Dunn, Smith Ballew and Scrappy Lambert take most of the vocals. Under the titles of the New York Syncopators, Ted Wallace and his Campus Boys and the Tommy Bohn Penn-Sirens Orchestra, the bands feature some of the top jazz-oriented studio players of the era, and the results are hot dance music. There are few "names" in the personnel (other than bass saxophonist Adrian Rollini), but the ensembles are clean and there are many fine, concise solos. A set of rarities that should greatly interest 1920s jazz collectors.
The Columbia House Bands: Ed Kirkeby, Vol. 1 Review
by Scott Yanow