by George WettlingGeorge Wettling
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Chicago percussionist George Wettling was famous for his delightful old-fashioned rim-tapping and rock-solid support behind jazz bands both large and small. He was practically the house drummer for Commodore Records and appears on the majority of Eddie Condon's recordings. For the seasoned traditional jazz fanatic, an entire CD documenting a series of sessions led (or fortified) by George Wettling is like some sort of a dream come true. Although mostly typical of what music historians call Chicago-style traditional jazz, everything here was recorded in the Big Apple. On January 16, 1940, Wettling's Chicago Rhythm Kings ground out four excellent sides for release on the Decca label. The lineup is incredible -- trumpeter Charlie Teagarden, trombonist Floyd O'Brien, clarinetist Danny Polo, and Joe Marsala -- usually associated with the clarinet, heard here on tenor sax -- backed by Jess Stacy, Jack Bland, Artie Shapiro, and Wettling. In March of 1940, Wettling recorded a pair of fine duets with pianist Dick Cary. Rodgers & Hart's lively "You Took Advantage of Me" brings to mind the terrific version that Wettling made with Bud Freeman and Jess Stacy back in 1938. The Dick Cary records and four sides by the George Wettling Jazz Trio were issued by the Black & White label. The trio in question involved pianist Gene Schroeder and clarinetist Mezz Mezzrow. Although the Classics liner notes take potshots at Mezzrow's "technical shortcomings," an unbiased listener will sense no such deficiency and might even appreciate the refreshingly funky informality of this or any other session in which Mezzrow took part. By the way, this has got to be the slowest, most relaxed version of "China Boy" ever recorded, up until Wettling kicks it up into third gear and they cook it to a gravy. The George Wettling Rhythm Kings assembled again in an almost completely different incarnation on July 21, 1944. Four tasty sides were sautéed for the Commodore catalog, beginning with the old "Heebie Jeebies." Wettling, with pianist Dave Bowman and bassist Bob Haggart, supported a front line of Billy Butterfield, Wilbur DeParis, and Edmond Hall. Anybody who loves and respects the memory of DeParis will want to obtain this CD in order to have this session on hand at all times. It's also great to have four Keynote sides recorded on December 12th by George Wettling's New Yorkers. Harry Lim's Keynote project often mingled players from different backgrounds, and this band is an extreme example of this tendency at work. Jack Teagarden -- he sings two of these melodies in his warm, soothing voice -- is joined by trumpeter Joe Thomas, clarinetist Hank D'Amico, the mighty Coleman Hawkins, lightning pianist Herman Chittison, bassist Billy Taylor, and the always dependable George Wettling. If this band sounds as though it had little time for rehearsing, that's a good thing. It's what this kind of jazz is all about.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/25/1997
Label: Melodie Jazz Classic
UPC: 0723722699429
catalogNumber: 909

Album Credits

Performance Credits

George Wettling   Primary Artist,Drums
Jack Teagarden   Trombone,Vocals
Billy Butterfield   Trumpet
Dick Cary   Piano
Herman Chittison   Piano
Hank D'Amico   Clarinet
Bob Haggart   Bass
Edmond Hall   Clarinet
Joe Marsala   Tenor Saxophone
Charlie Teagarden   Trumpet
Coleman Hawkins   Tenor Saxophone
Jack Bland   Guitar
Dave Bowman   Piano
Mezz Mezzrow   Drums
Floyd O'Brien   Trombone
Danny Polo   Clarinet
Gene Schroeder   Piano
Artie Shapiro   Bass
Jess Stacy   Piano
Wilbur De Paris   Trombone
Billy Taylor   Bass
Joe Thomas   Trumpet

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Jack Pettis   Composer
Buddy DeSylva   Composer
Lil Hardin   Composer
Ballard MacDonald   Composer
Don Raye   Composer
Elmer Schoebel   Composer
Peter Van Steeden   Composer
Ray Gilbert   Composer
Anatol Schenker   Liner Notes
Lew Pollack   Composer
Harry Clarkson   Composer
Billy Meyers   Composer

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