Doctor Jazz magazine from Holland, on their record label, recently compiled two fascinating sets that are filled with music that very few have heard. The liner notes are in Dutch but the song and personnel listings are easy to read and the music does not need any translation.
Hot Jazz & Swing 1926-1953 contains performances that are “new,” even to those who collect early Dutch jazz. The 26 selections, most of which date from 1934-49, were all previously unreleased (alternate takes, test pressings, and acetates) other than three songs released on 78s and four that were taken from radio broadcasts.
While very few of the names from these ensembles will be recognizable to American listeners (other than perhaps singer Rita Reyes and the group The Ramblers), in most cases the performances are on the level of American bands of the period. A piano duet on “Blue Skies” from 1927, a version of “Dinah” from 1934 that is inspired by both Louis Armstrong and Cab Calloway, pianist Melle Weersma’s “Variations In Modern Rhythm,” a hot instrumental rendition of “Rhythm Is Our Business,” “Somebody Loves Me” by a trio featuring tenor-saxophonist Hans van Assenderp, and a few attempts at bebop are among the more memorable selections. This well-conceived and fascinating release holds one’s interest throughout.
Also see the other Doctor Jazz release: The Ramblers 1944 – Hilversum Express