From the Record Shelves #5

Makin’ Friends

LP connoisseur CR 523

The band name The Whoopee Makers is a pseudonym that the Ben Pollack Orchestra used when recording for “dime store labels”. The music is what we call hot dance music, but here the arrangements are read and performed by jazz musicians or musicians able to play jazz. This gives a special dimension to the proceedings. Even when using stock arrangements they try to put in as much jazz solos as possible on some numbers, on others they play straight (which is okay as long as the melody is attractive).

In a couple of instances they are mocking jazz and are on purpose playing “corny” and that is not at all funny to my ears. But this, the last number of the LP is a serious thing with Jack Teagarden on trombone and vocal dominating. They start with a theme in minor key that is taken from You’re Next a Louis Armstrong Hot Five recording. Then the bluesy cornet is played by Jimmy Mc Partland. The rest is all Teagarden specialties; vocal, scat and playing the blues using a glass as a mute.