Personnel: Talmadge Lewis (vocals, whistling, clarinet, C-melody saxophone); Smith Ballew (vocals, violin); Louis Prima (vocals, trumpet); Chauncey Morehouse (vocals, drums); Irene Beasley, Frank Luther (vocals); Dick McDonough, George Barnes, George Van Eps, Garry McAdams, Nappy Lamare (guitar); Joe Venuti (violin, piano); Sammy Shapiro, Sol Klein, Joe Raymond (violin); Max Farley (flute, clarinet, alto saxophone); Arnold Brillhardt, Jimmy Dorsey (clarinet, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone); Pete Pumiglio, Wallace Blumberry (clarinet, alto saxophone); Frank Teschemacher, Izzy Friedman, Fud Livingston, Alfie Evans (clarinet, tenor saxophone); Pee Wee Russell, Sidney Arodin (clarinet); Rube Crozier (oboe, tenor saxophone); Pat Davies, Bernie Daly, Bud Freeman (tenor saxophone); Min Leibrook (bass saxophone); Fuzzy Farrar, Manny Klein, Andy Secrest, Leo McConville, Walter Kahn, Dave Klein, Charlie Margulis, Harry Goldfield, Jonah Jones, Max Kaminsky, Phil Napoleon, Ray Lodwig (trumpet); Muggsy Spanier (cornet); Bill Rank, Harry Raderman, Charlie Butterfield, George Brunies, Larry Alpeter, Jack Teagarden, Red Bone, Tommy Dorsey (trombone); Frank Signorelli, Lennie Hayton, Arthur Schutt (piano, celesta); Claude Thornhill, Frank Pinero, Rube Bloom, Frankie Ross (piano); Herb Quigley (vibraphone, drums); John Lucas, Joe Tarto, George Wettling, Ray Bauduc, Stan King (drums).
Liner Note Authors: Jim Godbolt; Brian Peerless; Charlie Crump.
Recording information: 02/17/1982-06/27/1935.
JSP's Jazz Classics, Vol. 1 compiles four CDs with 100 tracks containing a mixture of both rare and classic jazz that was remastered for the British label by sound engineer extraordinaire John R.T. Davies. Along with the four featured artists on this set -- Louis Prima, Ted Lewis, Joe Venuti and George Wettling -- the ensemble players include an abundance of superlative musicians including Pee Wee Russell, Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, Bud Freeman and Jonah Jones. As always, the material sounds great and the liner notes are informative, listing personnel, dates, and concise history. Since this is a budget-priced set, it is highly recommended for both the jazz novice and collector. ~ Al Campbell