This CD, which is volume six out of seven discs that reissue the complete output of the Ben Pollack band of 1926-32, is actually the Pollack ensemble without the leader. Issued under many pseudonyms (and with Ray Bauduc on drums rather than Pollack), the group is best known as the Whoopee Makers. Several groups used that name (including ensembles led by Jack Pettis and the Duke Ellington Orchestra) but these 24 numbers (which have six alternate takes placed at the end of the program) are believed to be all of the selections during this time period that featured the Pollack sidemen. In the personnel on most of the numbers are trombonist Jack Teagarden, clarinetist Benny Goodman (who also takes one solo on alto) and trumpeter Jimmy McPartland. Some of the selections are very good examples of late-'20s hot jazz, including "Cause I'm in Love," "Digga Digga Doo" and "Bugle Call Rag." Some numbers find the band saddled with crummy singers (such as Claude Reese and the abysmal Mildred Roselle) but still overcome the vocal refrain to play some strong choruses. And a few jams are purposely corny ("Shirt Tail Stomp," "Icky Blues" and "Railroad Man") because those cornball efforts actually outsold the better jazz numbers. The program is well organized and despite the variance in quality, 1920s collectors will want this CD.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow