Frank Winegar & B.A. Rolfe - Edison Hot Dance Obscurities Vol.1 (Music CD)

Release Date: 10 September 2009
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Not a great many "hot dance" enthusiasts would automatically associate the name "Edison" with the genre; after all, old man Edison himself personally approved most of the Edison Records releases, and he didn't dig much in the way of hot jazz. But from 1917 until the demise of the Edison imprint in 1929, they did record hot dance music, especially after 1920, when the boss began to relax the reins somewhat. This Jazz Oracle disc, Edison Hot Dance Obscurities, Vol. 1, promises to institute a multi-volume series devoted to the hot numbers recorded by the Wizard of Menlo Park's personal label, expertly transferred by a modern-day wizard of audio restoration, John R.T. Davies. This first volume is devoted to two bands that are primarily known through their recordings on Edison, Winegar's Pennsylvania Boys and B.A. Rolfe & His Palais d'Or Orchestra. "Hot" sides are picked over semi-hot, or lukewarm, material, so there are no real duds here, whereas in the field, as advanced collectors of Edison Records will tell you, in B.A. Rolfe's case there are duds aplenty! The Winegar unit, originally based out of the University of Pennsylvania, is a gently swinging and lively territory band, whose work seems to get better as it goes along -- certainly they are less frantic and silly than their compatriots at Penn State, Fred Waring & His Pennsylvanians. By comparison, the Rolfe sides are played with a lot of gusto and polish -- while you can tell these guys are real recording pros, the jams are little stiffer than those proffered by Winegar and company. But certain individual solos, by Phil Napoleon, the leader, and others, do make this selection of Rolfe's work a rewarding and enjoyable listen. The sound throughout is excellent, exactly as an experienced ear would expect from late Edison Records without any additional (and unnecessary) reverb or juicing added. So overall, Edison Hot Dance Obscurities, Vol. 1 is a winning first volume in what one hopes will be a continuing series of discs that explore this under-investigated byway of 1920s hot dance music. ~ Uncle Dave Lewis
Release Date: 10 September 2009
  • 1. Shaking the Blues Away
  • 2. Ooh! Maybe It's You
  • 3. Tell Me Little Daisy
  • 4. A Good Man Is Hard to Find
  • 5. Since My Best Gal Turned Me Down
  • 6. I Call You Sugar
  • 7. Stay Out of the South
  • 8. Ida! Sweet as Apple Cider
  • 9. My Gal Sal
  • 10. Imagination
  • 11. Ooh! Maybe It's You
  • 12. Shaking the Blues Away
  • 13. Since My Best Gal Turned Me Down
  • 14. Buffalo Rhythm
  • 15. Rocky Mountain Blues
  • 16. Louisiana Bo Bo
  • 17. Deep Hollow
  • 18. No Parking - Rolfe, B.A.
  • 19. Why Can't You

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Catalogue No: BDW8040