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TheMusicalMarine

Bob Crosby and his Bob Cats

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Does anyone have any of the compilations featuring Crosby's stuff? I couldn't find much information about Crosby on the board.

So far I'm aware of the 15 or so discs in Halycon's comprehensive Crosby series, four discs of just the Bob Cats material from Swaggie (both mentioned in the Penguin Guide), and most recently, three discs from an outfit called Sounds of Yesteryear, also featuring the Bob Cats' sides.

Any Organissimites own any of these discs? If so, any thoughts on them?

Thanks.

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I like the Deccas - Chain Gang, some interesting gospel things; great band.

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I like the Deccas - Chain Gang, some interesting gospel things; great band.

I have a "Decca Jazz" compilation, South Rampart Street Parade (GRP-615), with terrific music, but unfortunately the sound is dead as a dodo - it's another victim of Sonic Solutions' "NoNoise" system, as is proudly mentioned in the booklet...

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I have some of the Decca stuff. I have the Swaggies. Great fun stuff. The Swaggies sound fine if you're interested in sonic matters.

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I'll second the thumbs up for the Swaggies. I'm a big fan of this band (big band and Bobcats), but I've got most of it on LP and 78.

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Wish I had the Swaggies!

I have this Acrobat CD from England

ABT_178.jpg

Th sound is a bit flat but the music is just fine!

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I think Bob Crosby's recordings are some of the most rewarding to listen to from the whole of the swing era. The orchestra both from the point of view of the superlative soloists. Eddie Miller, Irving Fazola, Matty Matlock, Billy Butterfield, Yank Lawson, Muggsy Spanier, Jess Stacy, Bob Zurke - Ray Bauduc's drumming and a book that was much more than just big-band dixieland. My favorite track by the band would be 'Woman on My Weary Mind' and as far as the Bobcats are concerned I wouldn't want to be without 'Mournin' Blues', 'Hindustan' and 'Spain'

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I have some of the Decca stuff. I have the Swaggies. Great fun stuff. The Swaggies sound fine if you're interested in sonic matters.

Didn't Swaggie only reissue the Bob Cats on CD?

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Didn't Swaggie only reissue the Bob Cats on CD?

I believe you are correct. There are CD reissues of the big band stuff on others labels (Halcyon, for one), but I thought the sound quality was inadequate.

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The Swaggie cds are the best sounding Bob Crosby I've heard. Period.

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The Swaggie cds are the best sounding Bob Crosby I've heard. Period.

That wasn't my question.

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The Swaggie cds are the best sounding Bob Crosby I've heard. Period.

That wasn't my question.

I wasn't answering anyone's question.

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Whatever.

I don't care.

The whole Bob Crosby phenom escapes me.

I'm sure it was "the jammies" for the country club set back in the day.

They were very good musicians and deserve respect.

This stuff is still in the margins of music.

YMMV.

The Swaggies are the best way to get this stuff. :)

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The Swaggie cds are the best sounding Bob Crosby I've heard. Period.

That wasn't my question.

I wasn't answering anyone's question.

OK, misunderstood your post.

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Whatever.

I don't care.

The whole Bob Crosby phenom escapes me.

I'm sure it was "the jammies" for the country club set back in the day.

They were very good musicians and deserve respect.

This stuff is still in the margins of music.

YMMV.

The Swaggies are the best way to get this stuff. :)

With all due respect to Chuck, this band at its best could cut pretty deep. Like most big bands of the time, Crosby's band was a very mixed bag. I can see how much of their stuff might be considered "jazz lite" or "Dixieland lite." But tracks like "Dogtown Blues" and I'm Praying Humble" had a feel different from anything else at the time, and should be heard. And hell, the great Irving Fazola played clarinet with them for awhile, and anything with Fazola is worth hearing.

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Please tell me what i missed and the mistakes I made in my post.

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Please tell me what i missed and the mistakes I made in my post.

No mistakes - just a difference of opinion.

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Please tell me what i missed and the mistakes I made in my post.

No mistakes - just a difference of opinion.

But you said "this band at its best could cut pretty deep".

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Please tell me what i missed and the mistakes I made in my post.

No mistakes - just a difference of opinion.

But you said "this band at its best could cut pretty deep".

Not sure if this is what you mean, but your statement ""This stuff is still in the margins of music" I took to mean that you consider the Crosby orchestra's music to be pretty lightweight and disposable stuff. If that's what you meant, then my mileage varies. In my opinion, their best material, such as the two pieces I cited, was more profound than country club dance/dinner music.

No biggie.

Edited by jeffcrom

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Agree with Jeffcrom. Music such as this (or almost any other, from ANY period) has to be seen in the context of its times too, and the Bobcats (or even the full orchestra) did not fare that badly at all jazz-wise. Lack of depth is largely a matter of personal opinion. In those days jazz (luckily) was primarily intended to entertain. And who says what would be considered "depth" in jazz of more recent decades by some in fact wouldn't just (and not unduly so) be considered "effects for effects sake" or "calculated screwyness" by others? Emperor's clothes, you know ... ;)

Back to THIS music, maybe it would be worth looking a bit beyond the commercial releases of bands such as Bob Crosby's? In the 70s/80s there was an LP series of previously unreleased transcriptions on a label called First Time Records (FTR) (later repressed with the same covers on a label called Onward To Yesterday (OTY)). The Bob Crosby platter ain't bad at all (like most of the entire series).

And the HINDSIGHT volume on this band can be ear openers too. Some of the tunes on these LPs swing in rather an intense manner.

Don't know if and where these have been CD'd in more recent times but those who search will certainly find.

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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A pity that Chronological Classics never tackled with a Bob Crosby series!

Richard Sudhalter's 'Lost Chords' had an enthusiastic chapter about the orchestra.

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Irving Fazola! worth the price of admission - and Jeff mentioned I'm Praying Humble, a very interesting conversion of Mitchell's Christian Singers, a gospel quartet,- and as I mentioned a piece called Chain Gang (which will be on my blues set). Somewhere there's a very interesting interview with Bob Crosby, Bing's brother, as we know. I don't have the swaggies, but there's a Time Life big band LP in great sound.

great band. Dixie with soul.

Edited by AllenLowe

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FWIW, Gunther Schuller praises the Crosby band in detail in his "The Swing Era," pp. 652-60. He begins: "The Bob Crosby Orchestra was in its heyday quite special -- and for a while one of the very best in the land."

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A pity that Chronological Classics never tackled with a Bob Crosby series!

But I think a reason for that is that Halcyon already had put out the complete chronological recordings.

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