John Kirby & His Onyx Club Boys: The Biggest Little Band in the Land | Retrospective RTR4312

John Kirby & His Onyx Club Boys: The Biggest Little Band in the Land

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Label: Retrospective

Cat No: RTR4312

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Jazz

Release Date: 4th August 2017

Contents

Artists

John Kirby & His Onyx Club Boys
Maxine Sullivan & Her Orchestra
Nat Gonella
John Kirby & His Orchestra

Artists

John Kirby & His Onyx Club Boys
Maxine Sullivan & Her Orchestra
Nat Gonella
John Kirby & His Orchestra

About

Here is the best single CD selection available of John Kirby’s famous 6-piece group, creating one of the most popular and distinctive jazz styles of the early 40s.

John Kirby (1908-1952) is the first double-bass player to head a Retrospective album. He was indeed the most accomplished bassist on the jazz scene of the late 30s and early 40s, with a light, subtle sound and a superior technique to his contemporaries. But his biggest claim to fame was as the leader of the Onyx Club Boys, a sextet which deservedly won the accolade: “The Biggest Little Band In The Land”.  This remarkable ‘orchestra’ boasted a starry front line of Charlie Shavers on trumpet, Buster Bailey on clarinet and Russell Procope on alto saxophone, and a rhythm section of Kirby, Billy Kyle on piano and O’Neil Spencer on drums. They developed a brand of neatly swinging ‘chamber’ jazz that enjoyed tremendous popularity. The superlative ensemble playing was contained within polished, tight arrangements and driven by a flexible yet powerful rhythm.

The Biggest Little Band In The Land gives a superb 28-track demonstration of their abilities: a happy blend of standards (e.g. Sweet Georgia Brown, Blue Skies, It’s Only A Paper Moon, St. Louis Blues), originals (e.g. Undecided – their biggest hit, Pastel Blue, Jumpin’ In The Pump Room) and breezy adaptationsof classics (e.g. Anitra’s Dance, Lucia Sextette, Beethoven Riffs On). Also, an exuberant Jeepers Creepers features English trumpet star Nat Gonella. At the time, John Kirby’s wife was stylish singer Maxine Sullivan, and their two most successful collaborations, Loch Lomond and My Ideal, are included.

Tracklisting:
1. Undecided
2. Rehearsin’ For A Nervous Breakdown
3. Pastel Blue
4. From A Flat To C
- John Kirby & His Onyx Club Boys

5. Loch Lomond
- Maxine Sullivan & “Her Orchestra”

6. Effervescent Blues
- John Kirby & His Onyx Club Boys
 
7.   Jeepers Creepers
- John Kirby & His Orchestra, with Nat Gonella

8. Anitra’s Dance
9. Sweet Georgia Brown
10. Front And Center
11. Royal Garden Blues
12. Opus Five
13. Blue Skies
14. Rose Room
15. Jumpin’ In The Pump Room
16. Blues Petite
17. Chloe
18. Can’t We Be Friends?
19. Sextette
20. Beethoven Riffs On
21. Close Shave
22. It’s Only A Paper Moon
23. My Ideal (with Maxine Sullivan)
24. No Blues At All
25. St. Louis Blues
- John Kirby & His Onyx Club Boys

26. Nine-Twenty Special
27. At The Crossroads
28. Mop, Mop!
- John Kirby & His Orchestra

Recorded 1937-1945

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