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Various Artists: Jumpin’ and Jivin’

Here’s a surprising collection of 25 titles recorded between 1947 and 1955 for Specialty, Fidelity and Prestige. Compiled and annotated by the very knowledgeable Billy Vera, it throws an interesting light on the differences then existing, as he suggests, between southwestern and northeastern taste. “Jumpin'” was evidently more prevalent in the West, where there was more emphasis on blues-and rhythm-by such as Roy Milton, Duke Henderson, Amos Easton, Joe Turner and Floyd Dixon. The East, represented by Prestige people like Leo Parker (“Mad Lad”), King Pleasure (“Red Top”), Annie Ross (“Twisted”), Joe Carroll (“Got a Penny”), Lockjaw Davis (“Squattin'”) and King Pleasure(“Moody’s Mood for Love”), was strong on jive and bebop, and moving in a fashionable jazz direction rather than towards R&B.

There are good, dire, amusing and five previously unissued tracks here. Together they form a useful kind of documentary.

Originally Published