review-storyvilleThis is disc four in the excellent five-disc series from Storyville/Nostalgia Arts, and it features many classic examples of the Boswell Sister’s unique artistry. As always there are stunning and significant contributions from the usual suspects, (the Dorseys, Bunny Berrigan, Benny Goodman, Manny Klein, Eddie Lang), as well as cameos by the Mills Brothers and Red Nichols. More than half of the tunes feature the fine piano work of sister Martha, and the jumpy “Puttin’ It On” was written by the sisters themselves. There are two Ellington compositions here, “Mood Indigo,” which features a clever interpolation of a classic blues form, and a stunningly performed “Sophisticated Lady,” the first recording to feature lyrics. There are four tunes penned by the team of Dubin-Warren, “Forty-Second Street” (a hot jazz masterpiece), a hoppin’ “The Gold Digger’s Song,” “Song Of Surrender,” and “Coffee In The Morning,” which is all sugared up by Connie’s gorgeous lead vocal. “Sleep Come on and Take Me” is a jittery up-tempo number about an insomniac lover. “That’s How Rhythm Was Born” is one of the Boswell’s very finest, a bayou-drenched rave-up with scorching instrumental solos. “Dinah” features the virtuoso playing of guitarist Bobby Sherwood, as the Boswells travel with ease from sweet and slow to hot and swinging. “Rock And Roll” and “The Object of My Affection” are the Boswells at their charming up-tempo best, and “Goin’ Home” and “Lonesome Road” are spare, bluesy numbers which spotlight the sisters’ otherworldly harmonizing. Aside from many other great tunes, this volume features a detailed and fascinating 8-page essay which tells of the Boswell Sisters’ very earliest experiences in music, right up to the cusp of their major success (the essay continues in volume five). This is a great collection dealing with a group which, quite frankly, is without parallel.

Reviewed by Harley

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