Eddie Condon

Town Hall Concerts, Vol. 1

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AllMusic Review by

Eddie Condon's Town Hall Concerts were historic in several ways. These weekly half-hour radio shows were very uncommercial (in fact they could not attract a sponsor), featured interracial bands and gave Condon an opportunity to put together well-paced programs. He would gather together a core band of Condonites who would have ensemble jams and individual features, and there were always a couple of numbers set aside for guest artists who would also join in on the show's concluding jam (titled "Impromptu Ensemble") with the regulars. Plus Condon, despite making a few too many jokes at the expense of Pee Wee Russell, proved to be a perfect host. After decades of only being available as incomplete excerpts, these programs have finally been issued complete and in chronological order on a series of two-CD sets by George Buck of Jazzology. The first volume, which has four complete shows, features such classic players as trumpeters Billy Butterfield, Bobby Hackett, Max Kaminsky, Hot Lips Page and Rex Stewart, clarinetists Pee Wee Russell and Edmond Hall, trombonists Bill Harris, Miff Mole and Benny Morton, the greatly underrated baritonist Ernie Caceres, and pianists James P. Johnson and Gene Schroeder. Although the recording quality of the very first show is subpar (the only one in the series that is less than flawless technically), all of the volumes in this wonderful series (which find the participants at the peak of their powers) are highly recommended.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
00:42 Amazon
2 03:11 Amazon
3 04:29 Amazon
4
02:50 Amazon
5 02:13 Amazon
6 03:29 Amazon
7 03:14 Amazon
8 03:58 Amazon
9 04:06 Amazon
10
00:19 Amazon
11 03:07 Amazon
12 04:16 Amazon
13
02:18 Amazon
14 03:04 Amazon
15 02:34 Amazon
16 04:25 Amazon
17 03:39 Amazon
18 04:16 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
00:18 Amazon
2 03:02 Amazon
3 03:54 Amazon
4 03:52 Amazon
5 02:51 Amazon
6 04:45 Amazon
7 02:43 Amazon
8 02:50 Amazon
9
00:17 Amazon
10 03:56 Amazon
11 04:17 Amazon
12 02:17 Amazon
13 04:15 Amazon
14
03:39 Amazon
15 02:31 Amazon
16 03:07 Amazon
17 02:33 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick