Saturday, March 04, 2017
And This Blog Loves V-Discs
Since 20th century music has clearly been the topic du jour at Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog so far in 2017, Mr. Blogmeister has been, while watching YouTube clips in the process of researching posts, stumbling upon excellent Swing For Victory 1940's recordings, most waxed smack dab in the middle of the World War II-era recording ban.
While writing the January 7 post about the astonishingly talented pianist Hazel Scott, found just one of her many V-discs. Not surprisingly, Ms. Scott is outstanding!
Ms. Scott is followed here by power-packed percussionist "Big Sid" Catlett, known for his work driving the latter 1940's lineup of Louis Armstrong's All-Stars (from Satchmo At Symphony Hall and The Complete Town Hall Concert).
Now what were these V-discs, anyway? Records for the armed forces that to some degree circumvented the wartime recording ban and in many cases featuring two recording artists. They are chock full of top 1930's and 1940's big bands and jazz artists, such as Gene Krupa, Count Basie, The Don Redman Orchestra, Red Norvo and Mildred Bailey (a.k.a. "Mr. And Mrs. Swing"), and ace Benny Goodman Quartet pianist Teddy Wilson.
And John Kirby's Sextet AND Nat King Cole.
Could the following be the last recorded appearance of Thomas "Fats" Waller?
Guitar geeks will go gaga over the numerous Les Paul appearances on v-disc.
Here's a wonderfully schizoid record in which the King Sisters (who may or may not have been related to 1960's variety television's squeaky-clean King Family), offering a bit of 1940's style sibling harmony on "When The Swallows Go Back To Capistrano", are followed by none other than the soulful swing-to-bop saxophone genius Lester "Pres" Young, performing his signature tune, Lester Leaps In.
V-discs continued to be recorded and issued for a bit after World War II. One of this writer's favorites from all the v-discs is the Duke Ellington Orchestra's performance of Deep South Suite.
There is a YouTube channel that consists entirely of these V-discs and the sheer number of top performers from jazz and swing represented is impressive.