Monday, 26 December 2011
Alley Cats in the broom closet
Like fantasy baseball fans, jazz fans like to speculate about dream lineups: If only A [insert jazz immortal's name here] had recorded with B, C, and D, wouldn't that have been something? Here's a fantasy for you. Start with Mildred Bailey, my favorite singer of the 1930s. Add, say, Teddy Wilson on piano, and for horns -- oh, what the hell, let's go for it -- Bunny Berigan on trumpet and Johnny Hodges on alto saxophone. Now there's a too-good-to-be-true lineup.
Oh, wait -- it actually happened.
On December 6, 1935, in a recording studio so small it was called "the broom closet," four sides were cut and released as "Mildred Bailey and her Alley Cats." Here for your delectation is one of them, the beautiful Fats Waller-Andy Razaf Willow Tree.