Various Artists

The Jazz Age/New York in the Twenties

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Although other releases cover this music in greater depth, this is an excellent CD filled with some classic (if generally overlooked) performances from the late '20s. Red and Miff's Stompers (a sextet/septet with cornetist Red Nichols, trombonist Miff Mole and either Jimmy Dorsey or Pee Wee Russell on clarinet) perform six complex and unpredictable numbers, the Ben Pollack Orchestra gives some future-greats (clarinetist Benny Goodman, cornetist Jimmy McPartland and trombonist Glenn Miller) a few early opportunities to solo, Phil Napoleon's Emperors from 1929 feature The Dorsey Brothers and violinist Joe Venuti, and Venuti stars on four numbers with his own groups. This enjoyable set gives proof (if it were needed) that '20s jazz was not all Dixieland.