Recording information: Los Angeles (01/13/1950); Los Angeles (03/11/1947); Los Angeles (03/25/1945); Los Angeles (04/20/1945); Los Angeles (06/1947); Los Angeles (06/1954); Los Angeles (06/21/1947); Los Angeles (06/30/1954); Los Angeles (07/08/1946); Los Angeles (07/24/1950); Los Angeles (08/15/1949); Los Angeles (09/09/1947); Los Angeles (09/16/1946); Los Angeles (11/17/1948); Los Angeles (11/26/1947); Los Angeles (12/19/1947); Los Angeles (12/1947); Los Angeles (12/22/1946); Los Angeles (12/23/1947); Los Angeles (12/26/1947); Los Angeles (12/30/1947); Los Angeles (1946); Los Angeles (1947).
Great Britain's JSP comes up with the goods one more time with this killer four-disc box of jump `n' jive jazz and rhythm blues from its truly golden era. While the vast majority of the 101 tracks included here were recorded in California by homegrown acts, there are exceptions. Everything here plays a key -- if sometimes historically unacknowledged -- role in establishing a unique approach to creating jump music that contrasted sharply with that of the East Coast: its easier groove with more emphasis placed on piano trumpet solos and big-band blues charts, and a more relaxed vocal delivery. The array of acts included here is remarkable; some of these sides have been on CD very occasionally if at all. The music on this set by Jimmy Liggins & His Drops of Joy, Joe Liggins & His Honeydrippers, and Roy Milton & His Solid Senders has been issued and reissued elsewhere, and often. Selections by all three acts here are generous, and mostly familiar. That said, there are also 17 cuts by Poison Gardner & His All Stars, 16 by Charlie "Boogie Woogie" Davis & His Orchestra; 12 by Calvin Boze & His All Stars; 10 by King Porter & His Orchestra; eight cuts each by Gene Phillips & His Rhythm Aces and Lloyd Glenn & His Joymakers, and six each by Dick Lewis & His Harlem Rhythm Boys, and Richard Lewis & His Orchestra. What's more, JSP has provided a history of the West Coast jump sound, discographical information, and excellent sound quality. You can take this to the bank: there isn't a weak moment on the box, and the price point is so attractive it wasn't compiled just for collectors. Anyone with even a remote interest in this kind of music -- or of music from this era or region -- will benefit from including this box on her or his shelf. ~ Thom Jurek