From the Record Shelves #72

Nobody’s Sweetheart

LP Ace of Hearts AH 106

This is a lively record! A good hot band with eager soloists playing some well known tunes, some of them in breakneck tempo, and some specialties. And in front the strong personality of the singer, the one and only Cab Calloway.

I must say that I don’t often listen to the ones that later has followed in his footsteps of eccentric improvisational singing. And if I ever sing a song that I like myself, I prefer to respect the melody and the words. (I also think that trying to get a “voice” through an instrument is more fascinating.) But Cab is ok to me when he is turning the tunes inside out because he is the first one that purposely did this, and he is so convincing in what he does. There is a lot of happiness in him.

The Cab Calloway Orchestra existed in other interesting versions later, with among others including the young Dizzy Gillespie. But here in 1930 he had just become the frontman for The Missourians, a remarkably tight unit. And in the solo department they had men like DePriest Wheeler on trombone, Lamar Wright on trumpet and the “wild” William Thornton Blue on clarinet. I also like to hear that the tuba and banjo can provide a light rhythm.

The LP has a good compilation and whatever they have done when they transferred the originals it’s not overdone, it sounds good.