Some jazz enthusiasts hold these half-truths to be completely evident:
a) No one buys CDs anymore, and if someone does (contradicting the first assumption) he probably has a crank phone on the wall of his basement room, next to the black-and-white television set found on the street;
b) No one pays for music anymore, since everything is accessible online.
Brace yourself. What follows is a recommendation that you — gasp — buy a CD to hear divine music not available any other way.
“Let yourself go!”
The CD contains 36 musical performances by a medium-sized big band, broadcast in early 1937. The band was led by violinist superhero Stuff Smith, and combined parts of his own Onyx Club Boys with members of the Cab Calloway and Chick Webb orchestras: Ben Webster, Jonah Jones, Sandy Williams, Garvin Bushell, Walter Thomas, Clyde Hart, Bobby Bennett, John Kirby (perhaps Milt Hinton), Cozy Cole.
AND a pearly young Miss Ella Fitzgerald.
Here’s a sample: Ella before the Cole Porter Songbook, in a composition she didn’t record in her early prime — with solos by Ben:
Such a de-lovely rarity, found — along with 36 other previously unheard performances from 1937 on the CD depicted in the image — issued on AB Fable CD 024. The music and the documentation will also explain why Ella refers to “Lucidin” in the lyrics. Source material courtesy of Jonah Jones, Edgar Sampson, and Anthony Barnett: read about — and purchase — this dazzling offering http://abar.net/index.htm.
And if you would like nearly six more minutes of swing ecstasy to be convinced that AB Fable is worth investigating, I invite you to listen and read more here.
P.S. Why am I writing a blogpost about a CD released in 2010? Simple: not enough people know about it, and it is one of my favorites on my wall of CDs. And whenever I have conversations with people and I reveal that I am deeply involved in jazz, before they start to look wildly around the room for someone else — anyone! — to talk to, they say, “I really like Ella Fitzgerald,” before they run off. I wish one-tenth of the people who “really like Ella” would buy this CD!
May your happiness increase!