Original Memphis Five in Hi-Fi ~ Connee Boswell (RCA)


review-memphisWill Friedwald, in his definitive book “Jazz Singing” names this album, “Connee Boswell And The Original Memphis Five In Hi-Fi” as one of the greatest jazz vocal albums of ALL TIME. This is straight up Dixie style jazz, and the horns just about ooze out of the speakers in rich high fidelity sound (hence the name) and Connee Boswell turns in the absolute best of her latter-day performances. There are a number of instrumentals here mixed in with the vocals, and Connee was pretty much in charge of all of the arrangements. For many years this was quite a hard recording to come by, one of those “lost classics,” and now that it’s finally here on Amazon, interested parties should grab it before it’s too late. I’m afraid that Connee Boswell and the Original Memphis Five just don’t command the attention from music consumers that they would in a perfectly balanced world. This album was essentially the swan song for Connee AND trombonist Miff Mole, and they really took advantage of the opportunity to secure their legacies as consummate jazz artists. Connee did a couple other recordings for small labels, and they are good, but this really is her “spiritual” swan song, if you will. These musicians were there almost at the very beginning of jazz proper, blazing brilliant musical paths which resonate still. That they were given the opportunity to say farewell in such a bright and wonderful way is a minor miracle. Seldom do careers in music wrap up on such a high note. Pick up this little known classic before it disappears for good–it’s something special.


  • James Lytell – clarinet
  • Billy Butterfield – trumpet
  • Milford Mole – trombone
  • Frank Signorelli – piano
  • Eugene Traxler – bass
  • Anthony Sbarbaro – drums


  1. When My Sugar Walks Down the Street
  2. Say It Isn’t So
  3. At The Jazz Band Ball
  4. Japanese Sandman
  5. Make Love to Me
  6. My Honey’s Loving Arms
  7. Pagan Love Song
  8. Giannina Mia
  9. Singin’ the Blues
  10. All of Me
  11. I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate
  12. When the Saints Go Marching In

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