The Spirits of Rhythm • 1933-34

Jazz Classic of the Month

The Spirits Of Rhythm were a unique, swinging and joyful group that hit it big at the Onyx Club on 52nd Street in 1933. Consisting of singers Leo Watson, Wilbur Daniels and Douglas Daniels doubling on a small guitar called the tipple, the brilliant acoustic guitarist Teddy Bunn, and drummer-vocalist Virgil Scoggins, the band always knew how to show their audience a good time. There was plenty of humorous and jivey scat-singing (Watson developed into an innovator), fast tempos, Bunn solos, and hot tipple playing by the three tiplistas.

All 16 of the group’s recordings (including three originally released under Red McKenzie’s name) were reissued by JSP years ago on the LP The Spirits Of Rhythm 1933-34 and the program has since reappeared on their CD. Other than a couple of partial reunion sessions from 1941 and 1945, this is the complete Spirits Of Rhythm. The recordings still sounds fresh and lively today, mixing together high-quality jazz with good-humor and a real sense of fun.

Hot Jazz Jubile

Scott Yanow

Since 1975 Scott Yanow has been a regular reviewer of albums in many jazz styles. He has written for many jazz and arts magazines, including JazzTimes, Jazziz, Down Beat, Cadence, CODA, and the Los Angeles Jazz Scene, and was the jazz editor for Record Review. He has written an in-depth biography on Dizzy Gillespie for He has authored 11 books on jazz, over 900 liner notes for CDs and over 20,000 reviews of jazz recordings.

Yanow was a contributor to and co-editor of the third edition of the All Music Guide to Jazz. He continues to write for Downbeat, Jazziz, the Los Angeles Jazz Scene, the Jazz Rag, the New York City Jazz Record and other publications.

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