Hal Kemp gained fame in the 1930s for leading one of the most popular sweet dance bands, often featuring vocals by Skinnay Ennis, with a major hit in "Got a Date With an Angel." During 1926-1931, Kemp's young band occasionally played jazz and most of its hottest recordings are on this CD. There are no famous soloists on the first 14 numbers, but the ensembles are spirited and the brief solos fit the period music well. Cornetist Jack Purvis has a few good spots on the later records and trumpeter Bunny Berigan is present on three tracks, taking his first recorded solo on "Washin' the Blues from My Soul" and being in memorable form on "Them There Eyes." Fans of late-'20s hot dance jazz will certainly enjoy this release.
The Hot Sides: 1926-1931 Review
by Scott Yanow