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29 June 2012

Gotta Darn Good Reason Now

Filling in some gaps to kick off the weekend, this covers the first 24 sides recorded by Cab Calloway under his own name (formerly he performed with the Missourians). As noted by others, these recordings show that Calloway had already developed his style, and he was successful with it. This cd includes the original recording of Minnie the Moocher, which he recorded several times. I prefer this version. He and the orchestra also do justice to Benny Carter with a nice cover of The Blues In My Heart. The liner notes (among others) suggest that it's interesting to hear Calloway covering tunes associated with other artists of the day (Duke Ellington, Paul Whiteman, Fats Waller, Carter), but the practice was so common that I would be surprised if they hadn't done covers. In my mind, I always associate St. James Infirmary with Cab anyway. But I will agree that, of all the Ellington material available, Mood Indigo is an interesting choice. These tunes were recorded between July 24, 1930 and June 17, 1931. Enjoy. +


1. Gotta Darn Good Reason Now (For Bein' Good)
2. St. Louis Blues
3. Sweet Jenny Lee
4. Happy Feet
5. Yaller
6. The Viper's Drag
7. Is That Religion?
8. Some of These Days
9. Nobody's Sweetheart
10. St. James Infirmary
11. Dixie Vagabond
12. So Sweet
13. Minnie the Moocher
14. Doin' The Rhumba
15. Mood Indigo
16. Farewell Blues
17. I'm Crazy Bout My Baby
18. Creole Love Song
19. The Levee Low-Down
20. Blues In My Heart
21. Black Rhythm
22. Six or Seven Times
23. My Honey's Lovin Arms
24. The Nightmare


vilstef said...

Jack Teagarden was another artist who did a fine St James infirmary, several times in the studio, and live who knows how many times?

I've heard a number of songs done by both Cab and Jack, and it's always interesting to do compare/contrast with the songs.

Chester Proudfoot said...

I have to say that despite associating St. James Infirmary with Calloway, my favorite version by far is by Chick Bullock.

vilstef said...

I'm not surprised by that at all. :)

I will have to give the most touching moment with the song to Jack. On his album Live at the Monterrey Jazz Festival (where he plays with his Mother, sister and brother and Gerry Mulligan and Pee Wee Russell in the band.) The music is just starting on St James Infirmary and Jack rather dreamily says, "St James Infirmary, the oldest Blues I know." and gives it a wonderful reading. Jack is way up there on my short list of favorites. So are Cab and Louis, and I'm certainly learning to love Chick Bullock from you!