Album Details

November 18, 2003
Vintage Music Productions
Jazz, Big Band, Early Jazz

Album Review

Violinist Paul Specht started leading bands in 1916, and throughout the 1920s and first half of the '30s, his orchestra was popular. Specht's ensemble performed and recorded regularly, being more of a dance band than a jazz ensemble. A small group taken out of his orchestra, the Georgians, was very jazz-oriented and featured the underrated trumpeter Frank Guarante as early as 1922. However the music on this CD is taken from a slightly later period. Reversing the trend of most other groups of the time, Specht's records of 1925-1928 are generally less interesting than his early Depression performances of 1929-1931. In fact, the numbers included here from the mid-'20s often are a bit corny, have unswinging phrasing and leave one waiting in vain for a hot solo after an insipid vocal. By 1929, the occasional hot solo was included and the ensembles swung a bit more, so the final dozen selections are of greatest interest, being fine hot dance music. Retro-Specht, although not essential, should interest 1920s dance band collectors.
Scott Yanow, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Whoopee!
  2. Static Strut
  3. Honey Bunch
  4. I've Grown So Lonesome
  5. If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies
  6. Yankee Rose
  7. Oriental Moonlight
  8. I'm Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover
  9. Roll Up the Carpets
  10. Hot Feet
  11. St. Louis Shuffle
  12. Who's That Pretty Baby?
  13. Cornfed
  14. Sweetheart of All My Dreams
  15. That's What I Call Sweet Music
  16. My Annapolis (And You)
  17. On With the Dance
  18. You're Just Another Memory
  19. Hittin' the Ceiling
  20. Chant of the Jungle
  21. That Wonderful Something Is Love
  22. (I Still Go On) Wanting You
  23. I'm Sailing on a Sunbeam
  24. I Wonder How It Feels (To Be Head Over Heels in Love)
  25. I Found a Million-Dollar Baby (In a Five-And-Ten Cent Store)