John has told me a few times about how some guy says that any recordings made after 1927 or so are without merit. The last time John mentioned it a couple of days ago, he added that this remark was probably somewhat self-serving on the part of the guy who said it.
I believe what it is, it's an example of what is called hyperbole. High-PERBA-lee. That's when someone says something that is on the face of it false, a deliberate exaggeration in order to make a point, to underscore some truth.
Hence, by disparaging all music recorded since the 1920s, the speaker underscores how excellent was and is the music recorded during or before the 1920s.
Hyperbole is ubiquitous in politics.
SMITH: "My opponent in this race is a child-molester!"
JONES: "Smith has the mistaken impression that I have molested his children. His error is understandable, since I HAVE had sex with someone in his family. But it was not his children. It was his WIFE. And it was strictly a mercy fuck - I had sex with her only after she BEGGED me to, because he is such a LOUSY LAY!"
Smith and Jones engage in ad hominem
argument (aka mudslinging) in order to emphasize the unworthiness of the other to hold office.
Plenty of excellent music has been recorded since the 1920s. Lately, I have been getting more into the jazz of the 1920s.
Back to the 1990s I had acquired some CDs containing 1920s jazz recordings. An Irving Berlin A Hundred Years
CD with a few old recordings by Ben Selvin. A Columbia Jazz Masterpiece CD of Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five
, a Columbia Jazz Masterpiece CD of Louis Armstrong and His Hot Seven
, and a 4-disc Armstrong box set
with the first 3 discs covering 1920s recordings. A CD of Bix with the Wolverines
. Plus a few tracks of Eddie Lang accompanying bluesman Lonnie Johnson on a blues sampler CD
Other CDs of assorted recordings that strictly speaking aren't categorized as jazz. E.g. blues, gospel, country, string band.
But last year I got a-hold of the 10-disc Documents box of Dixieland Jazz
, plus the first 10-disc Documents box set of Louis Armstrong
, and the second one, its sequel
. All inexpensive, and filled with excellent music.
Then, this past month, on tips from aficionado Kerry, I tried even more, still. A couple of bands I had never heard of. The Goofus Five
1926-1927. The Mound City Blue Blowers
1924-1931. Plus more by Bix, who never blew a bad note, and whose sound I already loved. Vol.1
and Vol. 2
of Columbia Jazz Masterpiece Bix discs and a 4-disc Bix-Tram set
, all covering his work with Tram circa 1927. And, now, a 4-disc set of Eddie Lang & Joe Venuti - New York Sessions 1926-1935
How excellent was, and is, this music recorded during the 1920s!
But I cannot disparage later recordings.
I was listening to the Eddie Lang, and there was this one track which was a tune familiar to me. I couldn't place it. The play-list had it down as "Prelude." A quick google revealed it to be Prelude in C Sharp Minor
And it came to me where I knew it from. (Did Lang's jazz version inspire this later jazz rendition?)
Circa Fall-Winter 1975-1976 when I was an undergrad at Brockport, at the campus bookstore I bought a remainder copy of the LP, Capitol Jazz Classics Vol. 8: King Cole Trio - Trio Days
This is beautiful jazz music. Cole's piano playing is alive and commanding and hot and cool and smooth. (It says in the liner notes that Cole was a disciple of Fatha Hines' piano playing.) Oscar Moore
's electric jazz guitar is equally astounding.
This LP introduced me to the sound of a jazz trio. It made me a convert. This is one my favorite Cole albums. (Also recommended, Dream With Dean
, with Dean Martin singing accompanied by his pianist, Ken Lane, and a trio, drummer Irv Cottler, bassist Red Mitchell, and guitarist Barney Kessel
. But I digress.)
TRIO DAYSThe first four cuts, the January 17, 1944 recording session, bear repeated play.
A1. 1944-01-17 The Man I Love
A2. 1944-01-17 Body and Soul
A3. 1944-01-17 Prelude in C Sharp Minor
A4. 1944-01-17 What Is This Thing Called Love
A5. 1944-03-06 Easy Listenin' Blues
A6. 1945-05-23 Sweet Georgia Brown
B1. 1945-11-01 This Way Out
B2. 1946-10-30 Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
B3. 1947-06-25 Honeysuckle Rose
B4. 1947-08-06 Rhumba Azul
B5. 1949-03-22 Laugh! Cool Clown
B6. 1949-03-22 Bop Kick
The writer of the liner notes tells how playing the original discs back in the 1940s was a morning ritual. I followed suit after I got this album. Put Side A on when you wake up. Perfect music to start the day with. Simultaneously soothing and enervating.Capitol Jazz Classics Vol. 8: King Cole Trio - Trio Days (1972) - Capitol M-11033.
I had bought the album out of curiosity, having hitherto had no familiarity with the King Cole Trio. My knowledge of the Cole sound was limited to what I knew from the radio as a kid in the 1960s, e.g. L-O-V-E
, Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer
, Mona Lisa
. That, and three LPs I had bought about a year earlier.
Winter 1974-1975 at Brockport, on the strength of knowing his songs from the radio, I bought three Nat King Cole LPs issued by the budget Pickwick label. They were priced at (I think) under two bucks each, and contained tracks licensed from Capitol Records. The price was certainly an incentive.Nature Boy
Pickwick Records SPC-3249 LP (1975)
Nat King Cole
A1 Nature Boy
A2 Laughing on the Outside
A3 Spring Is Here
A5 This Is Always
B1 Until the Real Thing Comes Along
B2 The End of a Love Affair
B3 Star Dust
B4 When the World Was YoungLove Is A Many Splendored Thing
Nat King Cole
Pickwick Records SPC-3046 LP (196?)
A1 Love Is a Many Splendored Thing (2:38)
A2 Tangerine (2:43)
A3 That's A Natural Fact (2:34)
A4 Dreams Can Tell A Lie (2:56)
A5 I'd Rather Have the Blues (2:51)
B1 If Love Is Good To Me (2:43)
B2 Breezin' Along With The Breeze (2:29)
B3 Lillette (3:00)
B4 Don't Cry, Cry Baby (3:03)
B5 Ain't She Sweet (2:50)You're My Everything
Nat King Cole
Pickwick Records SPC-3154 LP (1967?)
A1 You're My Everything (2:45)
A2 Little Coquette (2:54)
A3 Magic Moments (1:53)
A4 You'll See (2:55)
A5 Bend a Little My Way (2:25)
B1 The Girl from Ipanema (2:53)
B2 Because You're Mine (3:08)
B3 Brush Those Tears From Your Eyes (2:45)
B4 Poinciana (3:55)
These albums served as my introduction to a lot of these songs, and what an excellent way to discover such songs! Excellent tunes, excellent lyrics, excellent arrangements, and an excellent voice.
No hyperbole, that.