From the Vault...


Cab Calloway

© ASV Ltd. Records

Year of Release: 2001

track listing
  • Minnie The Moocher
  • Kicking The
    Gong Around
  • St. James Infirmary
  • The Scat Song
  • Minnie The Moocher's
    Wedding Day
  • Reefer Man
  • The Lady With The Fan
  • Zaz Zuh Zaz
  • 'Long About Midnight
  • Moon Glow
  • Jitter Bug
  • Angels With
    Dirty Faces
  • Crescendo In Drums
  • The Jumpin' Jive
    (Hep! Hep!)
  • Pluckin' The Bass
  • A Ghost Of A Chance
  • Bye Bye Blues
  • Willow Weep For Me
  • Jonah Joins The Cab
  • Geechy Joe
  • Blues In The Night
  • I'll Be Around
  • Hi-De-Ho Man,
    That's Me
  • The Calloway Boogie
  • Everybody Eats When
    They Come
    To My House

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    Cab Calloway related sites:
    Cab Calloway Website
    Previous Review: #769
    Shadoe Stevens--American Top 40: May 12, 1991
    Next Review: #771
    Joe Cocker--Joe Cocker!
    Cab Calloway

    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.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of ASV Ltd. Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #769
    Shadoe Stevens--American Top 40: May 12, 1991
    Next Review: #771
    Joe Cocker--Joe Cocker!