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Central Avenue Sounds: Jazz in Los Angeles (1921-1956) Box set

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, August 31, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

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Throughout the history of jazz, mythical places like New Orleans's Storyville, Chicago's South Side, Kansas City's Tenderloin district, and New York's Harlem and 52nd Street were celebrated as the legendary hotspots. Thankfully, this impressive four-CD, 91-track collection featuring Nat "King" Cole, Louis Armstrong, and Benny Carter to name a few, puts Los Angeles's famous African-American enclave, Central Avenue, on the historical map and offers the listener a zoot-suited, jitterbugged jaunt through Club Alabam, The Downbeat, and other jumpin' joints where Hollywood stars rubbed shoulders with hep cats under a pulsating Pacific sky. The set covers an important period in the development of African-American music, from the conclusion of World War I to the birth of rock & roll: from the early New Orleans bouncy brass-band sounds of "Get Out of Here" by Kid Ory's Creole Jazz Band and the Spanish-tinged, habanera syncopation on "Mamanita," courtesy of the pioneering pianist/composer Jelly Roll Morton to Lionel Hampton's boogie-woogie anthem "Flying Home" and the killer keyboard calisthenics on Art Tatum's "Tiger Rag." The Charlie Parker Septet's "Ornithology" blew into town on the wings of bebop innovation and hypnotized local up-and-comers like bassist Charles Mingus--under the moniker of Baron Mingus & His Octet on a rare side called "Bedspread"--and tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon's raw-boned tone on "Chromatic Aberration," which previewed John Coltrane's sheets of sound. Miles Davis's cool indigo-impressionism radiance on "Up in Dodo's Room," performed by the Howard McGhee Sextet, contrasts with the harmonic heights reached by the Gerald Wilson Orchestra's reading of "Groovin' High." There is a remarkable fluidity of transition from blues to R&B, as heard in the western wails on "Blues on Central Avenue" by Joe Turner with the Freddie Slack Trio, Nellie Lutcher's hip-bopping, tasty, and teasing "Fine Brown Frame" and the Texas-bred, guitar twang of T-Bone Walker's "Call It Stormy Monday," all of which highlight the sepia-toned, soulful syncretism that formed the bedrock of modern music and the marvelous black neighborhood that provided the foundation for it. --Eugene Holley Jr.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Ory's Creole Trombone - Ory's Sunshine Orchestra
  2. Creole Song - Ory's Creole Jazz Band
  3. Get Out Of Here - Ory's Creole Jazz Band
  4. Blues For Jimmy - Ory's Creole Jazz Band
  5. Someday Sweetheart - Jelly Roll Morton's Jazz Band
  6. The Pearls - Jelly Roll Morton
  7. Kansas City Stomps - Jelly Roll Morton & His Red Hot Peppers
  8. Mamanita - Jelly Roll Morton
  9. Harlem - Paul Howard's Quality Serenaders
  10. California Swing - Paul Howard's Quality Serenaders
  11. If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight - Louis Armstrong & His Sebastian New Cotton Club Orchestra
  12. Shine - Louis Armstrong & His Sebastian New Cotton Club Orchestra
  13. When It's Sleepy Time Down South - Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra
  14. Dixie Rhythm - The Four Blackbirds
  15. Body And Soul - Art Tatum & His Swingsters
  16. Tiger Rag - Art Tatum
  17. Central Avenue Breakdown - Lionel hampton & His Orchestra
  18. T-Bone Blues - T-Bone Walker/Les Hite & His Orchestra
  19. Jump For Joy - Duke Ellington
  20. Blues On Central Avenue - Joe Turner
  21. Benny's Bugle - Lee & Lester Young's Orchestra
  22. Flying Home - Lionel hampton & His Orchestra
  23. Mean Old World - T-Bone Walker
  24. Jumpin' In The Groove - Cee Pee Johnson Orchestra

Disc: 2

  1. Straighten Up And Fly Right - Nat King Cole Trio
  2. The Man I Love - Nat King Cole Trio
  3. Body And Soul - Nat King Cole Trio
  4. I Wonder - Cecil Grant
  5. The Honeydripper Pts. 1 & 2 - Joe Liggins & His Orchestra
  6. Swingin' The Boogie - Hadda Brooks Trio
  7. That's My Desire - Hadda Brooks Trio
  8. Harlem Nocturne - Johnny Otis Orchestra
  9. Driftin' Blues - Johnny Moore's Three Blazers
  10. Tutti Frutti - Slim Gaillard & His Boogiereeners
  11. Laguna - Slim Gaillard Quartet
  12. Soothe Me - Ernie Andrews
  13. Don't Let The Sun Catch You Cryin' - Ernie Andrews
  14. These Foolish Things - Lester Young
  15. R.M. Blues - Roy Milton & His Solid Senders
  16. Groovin' High - Gerald Wilson Orchestra
  17. Bugle Call Rag - Wilbert Baranco Orchestra
  18. Ornithology - Charlie Parker Septet
  19. A Night In Tunisia - Charlie Parker Septet
  20. Jump Call - Benny Carter Orchestra
  21. Bedspread - Baron Mingus & His Octet
  22. Pipe Dream - Lady Will Carr
  23. Smooth Sailing - Lucky Thompson Quartet

Disc: 3

  1. Dial-Ated Pupils - Howard McGhee Sextet
  2. Up In Dodo's Room - Howard McGhee Sextet
  3. Cruisin' With Cab - Gerald Wilson Orchestra
  4. Dissonance In Blues - Gerald Wilson Orchestra
  5. Mischievous Lady - Dexter Gordon Quintet
  6. The Chase - Dexter Gordon/Wardell Gray
  7. Chromatic Aberration - Dexter Gordon Quartet
  8. Bikini - Dexter Gordon Quintet
  9. I Thought About You - Nellie Lutcher
  10. Fine Brown Frame - Nellie Lutcher
  11. Call It Stormy Monday - T-Bone Walker
  12. Red Top - Lionel Hampton Orchestra
  13. Ain't Nobody's Business - Jimmy Witherspoon
  14. Big Fine Girl - Jimmy Witherspoon
  15. Blues In Teddy's Flat - Teddy Edwards Quartet
  16. Tear Drop Blues - Jimmy Liggins & His Drops Of Joy
  17. Hop, Skip And Jump - Roy Milton & His Solid Senders
  18. So Tired - Roy Milton & His Solid Senders
  19. It's April - Buddy Collette Quartet
  20. Collette - Buddy Collette Quartet
  21. Blues After Hours - Pee Wee Crayton
  22. Mingus Fingers - Charles Mingus
  23. These Foolish Things - Charles Mingus

Disc: 4

  1. Sippin' With Cisco - Roy Porter's 17 Behoppers
  2. Gassin' The Wig - Roy Porter's 17 Behoppers
  3. Little Wig - Roy Porter's 17 Behoppers
  4. Double Crossing Blues - Johnny Otis Quintette
  5. Pink Champagne - Joe Liggins & His Honeydrippers
  6. Move - Wardell Gray
  7. Please Send Me Someone To Love - Percy Mayfield
  8. Black Nite - Charles Brown
  9. Money Blues - Camille Howard & Her Boyfriends
  10. Deacon's Hop - Big Jay McNeely
  11. Sweet And Lovely - Wardell Gray
  12. Farmer's Market - Wardell Gray
  13. Lover Man - Wardell Gray
  14. East Of The Sun - Joe Swanson Orchestra
  15. Thrust - Joe Swanson Orchestra
  16. 3-D - Big Jay McNeely
  17. Nervous Man Nervous - Big Jay McNeely
  18. Too Marvelous For Words - Art Tatum
  19. Lover Man - Art Tatum
  20. The Champ - Frank Morgan
  21. De Silva Wig - Gerald Wiggins Trio


Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 31, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: August 31, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B00000JZAC
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,020 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By David E. Rogers on September 6, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Central Avenue Sounds is more than a compendium of Los Angeles-based jazz from the 1920s-1960s. It's an historical documentation of an age and cultural environment that is sadly long gone and nearly forgotten. Although it stands on its own as an outstanding collection, buy this set with the book of the same title--"Central Avenue Sounds" edited by Clora Bryant (available here at Amazon)--for a multimedia journey back to a unique time and place. Highest recommendations!
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Format: Audio CD
I just heard this set and loved it. Before the days of electronic modulation and ripping these artists put emotional soul into their art. Much of this set can qualify as a worthy soundtrack for life. To get the most played it on a system that can present the full dynamic range and breath of the artists efforts. Cheers.
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