From the Record Shelves #87

The Eel

LP TAX m-8019

There is a lot of good music on the LP especially among the 1933 recordings, but I simply can’t pass over Bud Freeman’s “pièce de résistance”. The title is good, if you never saw the action of the slippery creature the tenor of Freeman gives you a good picture of its moves.

They had recorded it one month before and for some reason they do it again on November 17, 1933. The name of the band is Eddie Condon and his Orchestra, and it comprises a good rhythm section. Condon with his tenor guitar is surrounded by Joe Sullivan, piano, Art Bernstein, bass and Sid Catlett on drums. They are swinging with an energy that is highly effective especially on the blues choruses after the first theme and especially behind Pee Wee Russell’s two choruses of clarinet solo. But Bud himself is on top here playing with ease and expressing all he has including feeling for the blues.

While the tenor is resting other solos are taken by Max Kaminsky on trumpet and Floyd O’Brian who most often prefers to play his trombone with a mute. Freeman reenters playing breaks and then back to the eel theme. After that a slowed down ending, and we get a last word from Pee Wee.