||From the Vault...
© ASV Ltd. Records
Year of Release: 2001
Minnie The Moocher
St. James Infirmary
The Scat Song
Minnie The Moocher's
The Lady With The Fan
Zaz Zuh Zaz
'Long About Midnight
Crescendo In Drums
The Jumpin' Jive
Pluckin' The Bass
A Ghost Of A Chance
Bye Bye Blues
Willow Weep For Me
Jonah Joins The Cab
Blues In The Night
I'll Be Around
The Calloway Boogie
Everybody Eats When
To My House
Cab Calloway related sites:
We journey back to the Pre-Rock Era; before there was Rock 'N' Roll,
there was the Big Band Era. ASV Ltd. Records, a record company from
England, has reissued many compilations of the artists who were famous
during the 1930s through 1940s. Cab Calloway was one of those famous
artists, and was in the original Blues Brothers movie. His memorable
performance in that movie was being the "opening act" for Jake & Elwood,
while they were racing towards the theater. "Minnie The Moocher"
was Calloway's signature hit, as that song was featured by Cab himself,
and the Blues Brothers Band.
Hi-De-Hi! features 25 songs by Cab Calloway and his band,
from 1930-1947. And yes, "Minnie The Moocher" from 1933 is the first
track, and it has a more grit blues feel, and of course the "Hi-De-Hi-De-Hi's"
are as fresh as they were heard in the Blues Brothers movie.
Note: The original version of "Minnie The Moocher" can be found
on the ASV Ltd. release Kicking The Gong Around (1930-1931).
"Kicking The Gong Around" was one of the lyrics taken from
"Minnie The Moocher," as it has the same atmosphere as the song's
lyric came from, in a sense.
"St. James Infirmary" proves the true sound of Big Band Jazz
and Rhythm & Blues, likewise many of the songs contained on this compilation.
The "Hi-De-Hi's" are also a staple on other songs, such as "Minnie The
Moocher's Wedding Day" and "Hi-De-Ho Man, That's Me Likewise on
"Zaz Zuh Zaz," except with different words ("Zaz Zuh Zaz").
"Reefer Man" and "Jitter Bug" can be compared to the upbeat
sound of another popular 40s artist, Louis Prima.
The true big band jazz sound is excellent on songs such as "'Long
About Midnight," "Moon Glow" (instrumental), and featuring vocalist
June Richmond on "Angels With Dirty Faces". The horns are
truly exceptional, as heard by many other popular 1940s orchestra leaders
-- Glenn Miller, Harry James, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman.
"Crescendo In Drums" is another instrumental, with Cozy Cole on
drums. Calloway himself played drums at one time in his early years as a
professional musician, in 1927. Another great tune to mention is "The
Jumpin' Jive (Hep! Hep!)" -- in the traditional style of Big Band Jazz,
(Glenn Miller, most notably); this one should get the repeat method on the
CD laserbeam over and over with no tiring to the listener's ears.
Traditional Big Band Jazz is heard again on "A Ghost Of A Chance,"
"Bye Bye Blues," and "Willow Weep For Me" (all instrumentals).
The bluesy vocals return in "Geechy Joe" and the standard Jazz
classic "Blues In The Night." "I'll Be Around" is another truly
enjoyable slow jazz song, compared to the likes of the many popular
orchestra leaders mentioned in this review. It's another tune that should
get the CD repeat method. Upbeat jazz is heard on "Everybody Eats When
They Come To My House" and "The Calloway Boogie,"
another tune that could get some great airplay on a Jazz radio show, likewise
we can imagine the Brian Setzer Orchestra performing this one as well.
Traditional Jazz and Rhythm & Blues combined with Jazz best defines the
music of Hi-De-Hi! by Cab Calloway. Big Band music should not be
ignored -- It was a huge part of popular music before Rock 'N' Roll ever
existed. Despite today's music is not as highly rated to some, discovering
and re-discovering music of the past is and will always be an
entertaining journey. Don't pass the Big Band sound up. It's well worth
going back to the time machine of decades gone by.
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