The Cheathams have long been one of the leaders in a genre that they practically occupy by themselves, that of a Kansas City-style blues/swing band. Pianist Jeannie Cheatham has plenty of vocals and much of the music is blues-oriented but there is always plenty of riffing and heated solos from the notable horn players. The Cheathams have recorded exclusively for Concord, and this 1998 sampler has music from seven of their releases, programmed in chronological order (one of the few in this extensive series). With solos from such players as Curtis Peagler (on tenor and alto), trumpeter Snooky Young, clarinetist Jimmie Noone Jr., Rickey Woodard on tenor, and such guests as tenorman Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, guitarist Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, flutist Frank Wess, altoist Hank Crawford and Plas Johnson on tenor, this is an excellent overview of the accessible and enjoyable band. Highlights of their fine introductory set include "Big Fat Daddy," "C.C. Rider," "Blues Like Jay McShann," "Gud Nuz Bluz" and the band's hit "Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On."
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow