Jean Goldkette

Victor Recordings 1924-1928

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AllMusic Review by

In 2002 the Transatlantic Radio label fortified their catalog with a 26-track anthology of historic sides by the Jean Goldkette Orchestra. Victor Recordings 1924-1928 neatly samples some of the group's best works by beginning in March 1924, a good nine months before Bix Beiderbecke first sat in, and ending in December 1928, more than a year after Bix had joined the ranks of Paul Whiteman's Orchestra, along with some of Goldkette's most capable players. During the mid-‘20s the Goldkette band played its best music in front of live audiences, using arrangements by Bill Challis. Studio recordings captured some of the magic in the form of sweet and hot dance music punctuated by period pop vocals. Rather than packing in a lot of alternate takes (which may be found on other equally fine collections), the folks at Transatlantic chose to lay out a sensible selection that accurately embodies what the Goldkette band was all about. A quick perusal of the personnel is most revealing, for in addition to Beiderbecke's cornet one may listen for the trombones of Tommy Dorsey, Bill Rank, and Spiegel Wilcox along with reed players Don Murray, Danny Polo, and Frankie Trumbauer, who more or less assumed leadership of the band in 1926. Additional members of note were violinist Joe Venuti, guitarist Eddie Lang, banjoist Howdy Quicksell, string bassist Steve Brown (who replaced tuba handler Irish Henry early on), and drummer Chauncey Morehouse. Many of these names pop up on sessions led by Bix and Trumbauer during this period. The vocals are by Billy Murray ("I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover"), Frank Bessinger ("Idolizing"), and a very entertaining vocal group identified as Al Lynch and the Keller Sisters, usually billed on the 78-rpm record label as "Keller Sisters and Lynch."

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:47
2 3:09
3
3:17
4 3:06
5
2:59
6
2:39
7 2:59
8 2:56
9
3:30
10 3:04
11 3:03
12
3:09
13
3:08
14 3:10
15 3:17
16
2:47
17 3:02
18 2:42
19 2:45
20 3:17
21 3:06
22 2:32
23 3:33
24 3:05
25 3:17
26 3:02
blue highlight denotes track pick