From the Record Shelves #107

I Like What You Like

LP Halcyon HAL 5

Even if her recording career only lasted eight years there is enough material with Annette Hanshaw to fill a pile of LP records. But it’s hard to think that any of them would be better than this one when it comes to her interplay with a first class accompanying group.

Herself, she was a very reliable artist and, if you leave out some Helen Kane impersonations in Betty Boop manner, she’s always pleasant to listen to, with good intonation and rhythm, fine presence and a positive attitude.

On the LP record each side finishes with a piece of an interview conducted by Brian Rust in 1959. She declares clearly that she hated show business and made the decision to quit.

She was very young, about 17 years old when she met with and recorded with some of the aces of the jazz world in 1927. I guess that they liked her singing because the playing is inspired.

Adrian Rollini demonstrates the two extremes “sweet” and “hot” and that the secret of swing is accents. He is the composer of the tune. Eddie Lang is playing fine single string and forceful elastic rhythm guitar, Joe Venuti plays well phrased violin and in the background we get glimpses of Vic Berton’s timpani sound and a couple of breaks from his cymbals.

Annette Hanshaw shows no hesitation when she enters in the new key after Rollini two bar break where he modulates from Eb to F. The piano that enters just after the vocal is somewhat of a mystery, not a very important one, but still. On the present LP it’s said that Rollini plays it and he sure was capable of that since piano was his first instrument. But then he must have made a very quick change from the bass sax! Another possibility is that Hanshaw, also a capable pianist, plays. Third possibility is that another piano player helps them out.

The group is billed as “Four Instrumental Stars” with Annette Hanshaw’s name added in small print.