Friday, 21 March 2014

Red Nichols, I Got Rhythm [1920s music]

I started to listen to 1920s music a rather long time ago, and cornet player Red Nichols was one of the first musicians I really became aware of. This CD is a collection of tunes, all with contributions from Red Nichols, frequently as band leader.
Spend much time listening to music from that era and you’ll realise how fluid things were, with members of bands moving from one group to another, and in the case of acts like The Charleston Chasers, existing purely for recording purposes. Because of that, if you collect compilations of 1920s music, you may well have some of the tracks on I’ve Got Rhythm on other CDs. For example, I have some on a Charleston Chasers CD, another on a Miff Mole collection, and others on general compilations.

This is good time music. It’s upbeat and intricate, the various instruments weaving in and out of each other as though they’ve had a touch too much of the Real McCoy and are meandering happily home. Every so often a clarinet, trumpet or other instrument will skip merrily off on its own, while the rest oom-pah along behind it. It’s a collection that’s fantastic for dancing to – when I listen to it, I really do wish I knew some 1920s dances. It also makes ace background music for an event, but its intricacies mean that it’s also enjoyable just to sit and listen to, and marvel at the complexity.

I suppose if I have any criticisms, it’s that a lot of it is very similar in pace and feel, and there’s no vocal. This isn’t my favourite 1920s music CD (that would probably be either my Charleston Chasers one or Annette Hanshaw Loveable and Sweet), but it’s decent enough, and I listen to it fairly often.

Like 1920s music? 
I’ve also reviewed two Annette Hanshaw CDs (Lovable and Sweet and I’ve Got A Feelin’ I’m Fallin’), Evelyn Laye: Gaiety Girl and talked about Helen Kane and Ethel Waters. I’ve also reviewed Fascinating Rhythm, a collection of 1920s hits.

Source of CD: I bought mine from Duck, Son and Pinker of Bath when it was still open. However, Amazon is selling it for £5.99.

3 comments :

  1. I will have to check the OH's vast CD collection later and see if he has any Red Nichols! Thanks for the tips! x

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  2. Among my favorite 20s musicians are Louis Armstrong, Red Nichols & his partner Miff Mole and Bix Beiderbecke and his partner Frank Trumbauer. 20s Jazz is rather overlooked because of the popularity of Swing era music which followed, but there is great music from the 20s. I keep going back to it.

    (Bix was a fellow Iowan, and in the Jazz/Blues tradition, I've visited his grave in Davenport, Iowa and seen that his grave is kept clean. I've put pennies on his stone as well, and stood in the spots by the family marker where both Paul Whiteman and Jack Teagarden stood, mourning Bix.)

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  3. Among my favorite 20s musicians are Louis Armstrong, Red Nichols & his partner Miff Mole and Bix Beiderbecke and his partner Frank Trumbauer. 20s Jazz is rather overlooked because of the popularity of Swing era music which followed, but there is great music from the 20s. I keep going back to it.

    (Bix was a fellow Iowan, and in the Jazz/Blues tradition, I've visited his grave in Davenport, Iowa and seen that his grave is kept clean. I've put pennies on his stone as well, and stood in the spots by the family marker where both Paul Whiteman and Jack Teagarden stood, mourning Bix.)

    ReplyDelete