Grey Gull Rarities

Grey Gull Rarities


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You don't have to be a collector of obscure 78 rpm platters to enjoy this remarkable gold mine of all-but-forgotten jazz and hot novelty recordings. Whereas anyone who has actually handled the original artifacts will swoon with delight as the mother lode of 27 precious musical relics gradually reveals itself in all its glory. The Grey Gull company was born in Boston back in December 1919, the brainchild of one Theodore Shaw. By 1921 Grey Gull was actively leasing phonograph masters from other firms. Which makes this a rather surprising survey for the serious collector, as only one of these selections originally came out bearing the Grey Gull label. Grey Gull, it seems, was primarily an all-purpose record pressing operation, which had a hand in manufacturing and distributing lateral records bearing quite a number of small-time labels. While Emerson seems to have been a main source of material, labels represented on this disc include Nadsco, Amco, Globe, Madison, Van Dyke, Phonycord, Goodson, Piccadilly, Supreme, Up-To-Date and that fabulous budget line with the futuristic name of Radiex By now, any seasoned record hound is gasping with anticipation. Everyone else should go ahead and get a hold of this disc simply to have ready access to a lot of really entertaining -- and incidentally very uncommon -- music from the 1920s. The leitmotif for the entire album (and in a way for the decade itself) is "Harlem's Araby," an early masterpiece of hot dance music composed by "Thomas Fats Waller." Grey Gull Rarities contains no less than three different versions of this remarkably exciting song. Perusing the discographies, one learns that most of these ensembles were positively protean as names changed with every issue. The Grey Gull House Band, for example, also appeared as the Memphis Jazzers, the Atlanta Merrymakers, the Southern Rhythm Masters, and the Atlantic Syncopators or the White Star Syncopators. Another marvelous aspect of these recordings is the number of musicians who are listed as "unknown." In fact, the "unknown" players are often the real stars. Recognizable authentic jazz personae include Thomas Morris, Porter Grainger, Tommy Dorsey, Bob Fuller, and Carl Kress. There are magnificent xylophone runs by Harry A. Yerkes' ace percussionist George Hamilton Green, a couple of surreal violinists and accordionists, and a few period vocalists, none of whom do any real damage to the proceedings. Jazz Oracle seems to specialize in the art of bringing to light amazing instrumentalists who would otherwise have languished in the shadows for the rest of time. This album showcases Mike Mosiello, a very adept novelty improvising trumpeter -- he makes his horn quack during "Wow Wow Blues" which, by the way, was also known as "Ja-Da Blues" and "Wa Da Ja Da Blues" -- and a formidable fellow by the name of Andy Sannella, who handled clarinet, alto sax, and slack key guitar with flashy, immaculate ease. In the final analysis, Jazz Oracle has delivered what must be counted among the most exciting early jazz compilations ever to have appeared on CD, or on any format since the invention of the lateral phonograph record.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/26/2003
Label: Jazz Oracle
UPC: 0620588803826
catalogNumber: 8038
Rank: 107331

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Carl Kress   Guitar
John Cali   Banjo
Tommy Dorsey   Trombone
Mike Jackson   Piano
Manny Klein   Trumpet
Robert Lewis   Trombone
Jerry White   Vocals
Frank Luther   Vocals
Charlie Butterfield   Trombone
Thomas Morris   Cornet
Charles Magnante   Piano-Accordion
Smith Ballew   Vocals
Vaughn DeLeath   Vocals
George Hamilton Green   Drums,Xylophone
Irving Kaufman   Vocals
Joe Green's Novelty Orchestra   Drums,Xylophone
Harry Brooks   Piano
Bob Fuller   Clarinet
Mike Mosiello   Trumpet
Sam Speed   Banjo
Claude Austin   Piano
Arthur Fields   Vocals
Andy Sannella   Clarinet,Guitar,Alto Saxophone
Duffy   Violin
Emerson Harper   Clarinet,Oboe,Alto Saxophone
Leroy Smith   Violin
Pike Davis   Trumpet
Edward Beeler   Drums
Frank Belt   Trumpet
Jack Cox   Trumpet
Harold Henson   Alto Saxophone,Vocoder,String Bass
Carl Orech   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone

Technical Credits

Fats Waller   Composer
Frank Melrose   Composer
Charles Davis   Composer
W.C. Handy   Composer
Milton Ager   Composer
Dubin   Composer
Porter Grainger   Composer
Steve Lasker   Engineer
Hudson Whittaker   Composer
Jack Yellen   Composer
Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey   Composer
Jack King   Graphic Design
John R.T. Davies   Producer
Mike Mosiello   Composer
Andy Sannella   Composer
Colin Bray   Producer
Traditional   Composer
John Wilby   Producer,Engineer,Liner Notes
Jim Prohaska   Engineer
Ross Wilby   Engineer
Leroy Smith   Director
Joe Burke   Composer
Joe Primrose   Composer
Steven C. Barr   Liner Notes
Laurens Hertzdahl   Engineer,Liner Notes
Joel OSickey   Engineer

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