Volumes 1 & 2

Spike Hughes

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Volumes 1 & 2 Review

by Scott Yanow

Spike Hughes, a fine bassist and an advanced composer, led a series of enjoyable jazz-oriented performances in his native England during 1930-32. All of the selections have been reissued on a pair of double-CD sets from the British Kings Cross label. The first volume has some of the strongest performances with such soloists as trumpeters Sylvester Ahola, Max Goldberg and Norman Payne, altoist Philip Buchel, clarinetist Danny Polo and Buddy Featherstonhaugh on tenor being heard from. In addition, cornetist Muggsy Spanier guests on one cut and Jimmy Dorsey (doubling on alto and clarinet) is backed by Hughes' "Three Blind Mice" on one full session, really showing off his virtuosity on "I'm Just Wild About Harry." Even if a few of the vocals are quite dated, the often-hot playing throughout this double-disc should greatly interest classic jazz collectors.

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