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Eddie South: Black Gypsy

People who have a general interest in Eddie South that might not extend to a discography should know of two recent CDs that illuminate important aspects of his career. Both come with excellent notes by Anthony Barnett. Black Gypsy consists of all the recordings made for Victor, Gramophone, and ARC, from 1927 to 1934. There are eight previously unissued tracks, most of which are alternates. For the most part, this is pop fare with some very hot touches. South’s huge sound is heard in tantalizing flashes or leading an ensemble, and he’s also a fine vocalist. When he gets off a real solo it’s always a killer, and one of the previously unheard tracks, “At the Ball,” is an extended showcase that will have the fiddler’s fans turning flips. Other attractions include a couple of unusual Hoagy Carmichael songs and some nice work by guitarist Everett Barksdale.

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