Volume 2 in the complete 1928-1939 recordings of Benny Carter as presented by the Masters of Jazz label during the '90s zeroes in on this man's astonishingly diverse recording activity during a period of time between March 1931 and October 1933. Carter, an accomplished arranger and multi-instrumentalist, is heard leading his first recording band (track five, and nine through twelve) and sitting in with groups led by Chick Webb (tracks one and two), Cab Calloway (track six), Duke Ellington (track seven), and Horace Henderson (track 21); he also made music as director of McKinney's Cotton Pickers (tracks three and four), with the Mills Blue Rhythm Band (track eight), and with Spike Hughes & His Negro Orchestra (tracks 13-20). This is a thrilling tour of early-'30s big-band swing; Carter sings on "Blues in My Heart," "Swing It," "Synthetic Love," "Love You're Not the One for Me," and "Someone Stole Gabriel's Horn." He composed and arranged "Jazz Cocktail," and plays the soprano saxophone on "Firebird." The vocal on Jerome Kern's "Ol' Man River" is by trumpeter Henry "Red" Allen. "Do You Believe in Love at First Sight" and "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams" are sung by trombonist Quentin Butter Jackson.
AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf
feat: Mills Blue Rhythm Band