The Complete Set: 1923-1926

The Complete Set: 1923-1926

by Freddie KeppardFreddie Keppard


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For several practical reasons, this could very well be the best Freddie Keppard collection currently available on compact disc. Until someone comes out with an expanded set containing everything even remotely connected with Keppard, this Retrieval edition, unflawed yet arguably not "complete," deserves top recommendation. The art and science of Keppard appreciation has always been filled with challenges. This is because there always seems to be a number of recordings included on which Keppard does not appear or -- even better -- where Keppard's presence has been hotly disputed for generations. The cornerstone reissue predating the rise of digital transfers was a 1979 Smithsonian/CBS LP entitled The Legendary Freddie Keppard -- New Orleans Cornet. That marvelous tribute, covering the years 1924-1926, was garnished with copious liner notes. A 1988 Jazz Treasury LP covering the years 1923-1928 made further material available to collectors. The producers of King Jazz brought out their own version of the chronology in 1992, and a 1998 Jazz Archives edition proved to be a thinly veiled reissue of a 1996 EPM Musique release. These are some of the primary milestones in the study of Freddie Keppard's recorded legacy, and let it be said that the earlier CD editions were marred by serious technical problems. Although grouping together both Keppard's and Louis Armstrong's recordings made with Erskine Tate, the Jazz Archives issue omits three crucial sides by the Jazz Cardinals, which happen to be the only recordings ever actually released under Keppard's name. How they rationalized that excision is anybody's guess. The producers also edited out a magical glockenspiel intro from "Scissor Grinder Joe," and the sound quality is weak enough that some of the subtleties of the performances are lost. The King Jazz edition is ruined by a catastrophic mistake in their discography, as track 23 appears as track 17, causing most of the rest of the printed titles to be out of step with what is actually heard. With screwed-up competition like this, it's easy to recommend Retrieval/Challenge 79017, which appeared in 2000 bolstered with informative and insightful written commentary by Mark Berresford. Like almost every musical historian, Berresford cops attitudes wherever he sees fit, sneering at Elwood Graham's vaudevillian "laughing" cornet solo on "So This Is Venice" and disparaging certain unverified Keppard recordings as residing somewhere outside of the Keppard canon -- apparently, Jasper Taylor's State Street Boys didn't qualify -- while embracing others that are equally unsubstantiated. Even if the enclosed discography says Keppard is absent from Doc Cook's 14 Doctors of Syncopation, Berresford hears him there and says so. The most important contribution that he makes to Keppard studies and jazz literature in general is a reconsideration of Keppard's legendary refusal in 1916 to make what would have been the first jazz recording, not so as to prevent others from "stealing his stuff" but for the excellent reason that ."..he was not prepared to play for a test recording without being paid, which was the accepted policy of record companies." Now that is illuminating. Freddie Keppard expected to be paid for his work! Imagine that.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/11/2006
Label: Challenge
UPC: 0608917901726
catalogNumber: 79017
Rank: 42102

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Freddie Keppard   Primary Artist,Cornet
Papa Charlie Jackson   Violin
Buster Bailey   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Johnny Dodds   Clarinet
Jimmie Noone   Clarinet
Jimmy Bell   Violin
Stan Wilson   Banjo
Jimmy Bertrand   Drums
Arthur Campbell   Piano
Andrew Hilaire   Violin,Drums
Bill Newton   Double Bass
Jerome Pasquall   Tenor Saxophone
Joe Poston   Clarinet,Violin,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Eddie Vincent   Trombone
Fayette Williams   Trombone
Norval Morton   Tenor Saxophone
James Tate   Cornet
Robert Shelly   Banjo
Erskine Tate   Banjo
Elwood Graham   Cornet
Angelo Fernandez   Clarinet
Adrian Robinson   Piano
Bill Dawson   Trombone
Kenneth Anderson   Piano
Billy Butler   Violin,Alto Saxophone
George Mitchell   Cornet
Jerome Carrington   Piano
Ford King   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone

Technical Credits

Dizzy Gillespie   Composer
Jelly Roll Morton   Composer
Fats Waller   Composer
Jimmie Noone   beats
Harry Barris   Composer
Marty Bloom   Composer
Chris Ellis   Producer
Isham Jones   Composer
Gus Kahn   Composer
Billy Moll   Composer
Joe Poston   beats
Fred Rose   Composer
Elmer Schoebel   Composer
Harry Warren   Composer
Charles Harrison   Composer
Joe Sanders   Composer
Reverend Charlie Jackson   Composer
Erskine Tate   Composer,Director
Walter Melrose   Composer
Edgar Leslie   Composer
Grant Rymal   Composer
Doc Cook   Composer,Director
Mark Berresford   Liner Notes,Original Material
Harrison   Composer
Rose   Composer
Barris   Composer
Billy Meyers   Composer

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