September 26, 2000
Jazz, Big Band, Early Jazz

Album Review

While most of Bennie Moten's music has been released, a single and complete volume of his important Victor recordings is still missing. Now there's Hep's Band Box Shuffle, which takes in Moten's prime 1929-1932 stretch for the company via 47 superbly remastered tracks. And mirroring the sterling transfers engineer John R.T. Davies has supplied, the liner notes, written by jazz photographer and historian Frank Driggs, provide a hugely readable and exhaustive account of the group's history. Of course, that history recounts the Moten band's position as one of the best of the many territory bands to emerge in the Southwest during the '20s, which was due in no small part to the presence of Count Basie and many of the other stars who would help him form his own big band in the '30s. Basie's future jump fleetness is especially evident on the ten classic 1932 sides that close this set, notably complex barnstormers like "Toby," "Lafayette," and "Moten Swing." The likes of Ben Webster, Hot Lips Page, and Walter Page all contribute to the fine swing. A good share of the remaining tracks, while often maligned in relation to these later cuts, have worn well, too -- clunky tuba, accordion, and all.
Stephen Cook, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Rumba Negro (Spanish Stomp)
  2. The Jones Law Blues
  3. The Jones Law Blues
  4. Band Box Shuffle
  5. Small Black
  6. Small Black
  7. Everyday Blues (Yo Yo Blues)
  8. Boot It
  9. Mary Lee
  10. Rit-Dit-Ray
  11. Rit-Dit-Ray
  12. New Vine Street Blues
  13. Sweetheart of Yesterday
  14. Won't You Be My Baby?
  15. Won't You Be My Baby?
  16. I Wish I Could Be Blue
  17. I Wish I Could Be Blue
  18. Oh! Eddie
  19. Oh! Eddie
  20. That Too, Do
  21. That Too, Do
  22. Mack's Rhythm
  23. You Made Me Happy
  24. Here Comes Marjorie
  25. The Count
  26. Liza Lee
  27. Liza Lee
  28. Get Goin' (Get Ready to Love)
  29. Professor Hot Stuff
  30. When I'm Alone
  31. New Moten Stomp
  32. As Long as I Love You
  33. Somebody Stole My Gal
  34. Now That I Need You
  35. Bouncin' Round
  36. Ya Got Love
  37. I Wanna Be Around Me Baby All the Time
  38. Toby
  39. Moten Swing
  40. Blue Moon
  41. Imagination
  42. New Orleans
  43. The Only Girl I Ever Loved
  44. Milenberg Joys
  45. Lafayette
  46. Prince of Wails
  47. Two Times
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