Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

Document Records Special Offers

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Robert Shaw The 1971 Party Tape

This CD includes a 22 page booklet, an article by Ben Conroy, a list of all Robert Shaw's recordings and what key they are played in by Konrad Nowakowski, a list of all unissued recordings by Robert Shaw by Konrad Nowakowski, photographs, musician personnel, and original discographical details.

By the time he was a teenager, Robert Shaw would slip away from the farm to hear Jazz musicians play in the clubs and roadhouses in and around Houston. As soon as he was able Robert sought out a piano teacher and paid for the lessons out of his own earnings. The ragtime elements and the "barrelhouse" piano style that he learnt at this time were to influence his playing throughout his life. The barrelhouse piano style that Shaw played employs a heavy, hard-hitting contact coupled with a fast release. The name of this style came from the barrelhouses, where it was performed in sheds lined with beer and whisky, an open floor and a piano on an elevated platform in the corner of the room. Shaw learnt this unique style of playing from other Jazz Musicians in the Fourth Ward, Houston, which was the centre of black entertainment in the city. Continued...


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Vocal Blues & Jazz Vol 3 1921 - 1928

Genres: Blues, Classic Blues, Female Blues Vocal, Jazz.
Informative booklet notes by Steve Tracy.
Detailed discography

Volume three of this three volume series presents an interesting selection of blues influenced popular and vaudeville tunes of the day. At the time of this CDs production most of the recordings were not included in the collectors Bible 'Blues and Gospel Records' which is regarded by many as a comprehensive discography.

The range of subject matter across these tracks covers many aspects of every day life but the main theme is love; Cora Green and Hamtree Harrington's trade insults with comedy dialogue on If I Can't Get In and Marjorie Royce uses her full bodied voice on the humorous My Daddy's Growin' Old. Gertrude Dwyer delivers her suggestive material with panache... Continued...


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Pete Johnson The St Louis Parties 1954
Genres: Piano Boogie-woogie, Piano blues.
24 page, illustrated booklet with booklet notes written by Tom Harris, Axel Zwingenberger and Konrad Nowakowski.
Detailed discography.
 
A BALL WITH PETE JOHNSON
What a weekend! John Steiner and I had driven to St. Louis from Chicago to hear Pete Johnson play at the Circus Lounge in the Forest Park Hotel. The date was Friday, July 30, 1954. Having never met Pete, I was as excited and nervous as I had been when I first met Albert Ammons in 1948.
 
On Saturday, July 31, we were joined by good friend Charlie Castner and Donald "J. J." Stoll who flew up from Louisville, Kentucky. Charlie and I met in '48 at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. Charlie played the most authentic boogie piano I had ever heard outside of Albert, Pete and Meade Lux Lewis. We still play today - 50 years later. J.J. was an avid Jimmy Yancey piano stylist and an ardent fan. All music was recorded that day on Magnacord equipment (all tubes and very heavy) by mentor and friend John Steiner, possessor of one of the finest and largest jazz collections in the United States as well as a noted and oft-quoted historian of Chicago style jazz. As this CD attests, it was as fulfilling and musically exciting an afternoon as any boogie fan could ever desire. All of us played - solos, duets, trios, crosshanded - from slow blues to fast and furious stomps and popular tunes on an acoustic spinet piano. One special image remains: Pete is sitting back in an overstuffed chair listening to the enthusiastic boogie played by the next generation. He was smiling, and so were we. Continued...

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Jazzin' The Blues 1943 - 1952

Genres: Female Blues singers, Female Jazz singers, Classic Blues Singers.

Informative booklet notes written by Steven C. Tracy.
Detailed discography.

The great vaudeville blues singers who first emerged on record in 1920 with the recordings of Mamie Smith were a varied group in term of talent, technique, and repertoire. A number of them outlasted the vaudeville blues craze through their capabilities with a pop song, while others benefitted from the revival of interest in Dixieland jazz, and still others updated to a jazzier approach that fit in with the updated urban blues styles of the 1930s and 1940s. Of course, there were those artists who mixed these approaches in their work and, of course, performers who faded into obscurity due to an inability to update or a decision to retire. Continued...


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Vocal Blues & Jazz Vol 4 1938 - 1949

Genres: Female Blues vocal, Female Jazz, Swing.

Informative booklet notes by Chris Smith.
Detailed discography.

It will be evident from the track listing and discography that this CD consists of 'Albinia Jones plus the war effort.' The other singers are more famous than Albinia, but that doesn't mean she's outclassed. Even so, 'Song Of The Wanderer' is testimony to the collective ability of HELEN HUMES, Count Basie and his sidemen to work their magic with the most unpromising material. 'St. Louis Blues' is a better bet, the only danger being over- familiarity. Helen's airshot, sung 'for the boys overseas' is evidently a wartime performance, and is accompanied by a starry lineup, but the riffing (head?) arrangement seems curiously unfocused, and perhaps doesn't give the band enough to do. There's no doubt about Humes' enthusiasm for the song, though. Continued...


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Vaughn De Leath - Dancing The Devil Away (1920-1929)

Genre: 1920s Popular
Informative booklet notes by Gillian Atkinson.
Discography.

Vaughn De Leath CDs Vaughn De Leath, although forgotten today, was a household name in the 1920s. Born in Mt. Pulaski, IL, in 1884, she joined the showbiz world in 1921, singing over the WJZ radio station in Chicago. Her success in the pioneering days of Radio broadcast was probably down to her ability to accompany herself on banjo, ukulele, guitar and piano and also to her enduring strength, being able to entertain for hours in the days when there was an excess of air time. By 1923 she was the first woman executive to run a radio station, WJZ and a small network of low power stations. In 1925 she went back to full time performing. She had begun her recording career in 1920 and throughout the decade she recorded for just about every record label. In 1928 not only was she the featured guest of Voice of Firestone Radio Hour’s first programme but she also appeared on experimental television broadcasts. By this time she had become known as “The First Lady of Radio” and although she successfully sued another singer who had used this moniker, she recorded her last side for Crown records in 1931 and then disappeared into obscurity, dying 12 years later in Buffalo, New York. The extraordinary breadth of her repertoire and flexible style can be heard by the on this CD.


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Country Music Pioneers On Edison (1922-1929)

Country Music Pioneers on Edison Records (1922-1929)

Various Artist
Genres: Vintage Country / Old Timey
16 page, illustrated, informative, booklet notes by Lawrence Tedder

Almost since the time that recording sound became a reality, record companies both large and small continually sought out new idioms of entertainment to keep ahead of their competitors. For some unknown reason, however, country music recording was continually overlooked - citing it more as a folk tradition, than an actual vehicle for profit. Continued...


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Jazz and Blues On Edison Volume 1 (1920-1929)

Various Artsts.
Genres: Blues, Classic Blues, Jazz.

16 page, informative, illustrated booklet notes by Lawrence Tedder.
Discography.

For those of you who believe that there is little jazz or blues on the Edison label will be pleasantly surprised by this CD. Thomas Edison�s dislike of Jazz and Dance Music was well known. He was once quoted as saying: I always play Jazz records backwards, they sound better that way. Despite his personal views, Jazz Bands and Dance Orchestras were issued on his label, many recording for no other company, and on this CD we give you the best of the best. So we must consider ourselves fortunate that Edison saw fit to put his personal views aside, and record these groups� efforts for future generations to listen to and enjoy. Continued...


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The Golden Gate Orchestra - Crazy Words, Crazy Tune (1925 - 1929)

Genres: Jazz, Dance Band.
Informative booklet notes by Gillian George
Discography

In this, the fourth release of the Edison/Document series, the popular American music of the late 1920's is represented here to good effect by The Golden Gate Orchestra. The Golden Gate Orchestra however were to all intents and purposes a pseudonym for the well-established California Ramblers.
The history of the California Ramblers and their ever changing line up is well documented elsewhere, however, the liner notes to "The California Ramblers 1925-1928" (Timeless Records) by Hans Eekhoff are recommended. Continued...


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Vernon Dalhart Puttin' On The Style

In 2007, the Document historical reissue label gave the world what appears to have been the first Vernon Dalhart collection on compact disc using noise reduction technology to minimize the hissing, crackling, and wheezing associated with time-worn gramophone recordings. Anyone accustomed to hearing Dalhart's hoary old pressings played back on 78 rpm turntables will rejoice at the relative clarity achieved by the producers of this important release. 

In 1914, while cast as Ralph Rackstraw in Gilbert & Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore, he made his first test pressings for Thomas Alva Edison's exclusive record label. Document's survey of the Edison catalog covers a time period extending from December 22, 1916 to July 17, 1929, and includes four of this singer's first electrically recorded Edisons. Legend has it Dalhart performed an audition for Edison himself; the elderly inventor was apparently impressed by the singer's knack for concise enunciation. Continued...


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Jazz And Blues On Edison Volume 2 (1917 - 1929)

Various artists.
Genres: Jazz, Dance Band, Classic Blues

Informative booklet notes by Lawrence Tedder
Discography.

This collection begins with a recording made in the very first months in the history of Jazz recording! For those of you who believe that there is little jazz or blues on the Edison label this CD will, hopefully, come as a pleasant surprise. Thomas Edison’s dislike of Jazz and Dance Music was well known. He was quoted as saying: “I always play Jazz records backwards, they sound better that way.” Despite his personal views, recordings by some of the finest Jazz Bands and Dance Orchestras and Blues artists of the period were issued on his label, many recording exclusively for the Edison label.


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Harry Reser 'Trainin The Fingers' 1925 - 1929

Genres: Jazz, Ragtime, Popular
Informative booklet notes by Bryan Chalker
Discography.

Banjo virtuoso Harry Reser's (1896-1965) recorded output was staggering and among the ensembles he was associated with included The Bostonians, the Campus Boys, Jimmy Johnston's Rebels, the Four Minstrels, the Seven Rag Pickers, the Victorian Syncopators, Earl Oliver's Jazz Babies, Bill Wirges' Orchestra, Tom Stacks and his Minute Men and the celebrated Cliquot Club Eskimos, which were heard weekly on NBC's radio network from 1925 until 1935. In addition to these, however, there were a truly bewildering array of pseudonyms and this compilation of Edison sides, spanning the years 1925 to 1929, must be viewed as a "taster" from the musical world that was Harry Reser and his banjo. Continued...

 


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