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Al Jolson ‎– Brunswick Recordings (2002)

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Al Jolson ‎– Brunswick Recordings (2002)

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CD1
1 	Here I Am 	
2 	Mother Of Mine I Still Have You 	
3 	Blue River 	
4 	Four Walls 	
5 	Golden Gate 	
6 	Ol' Man River 	
7 	Back In Your Own Backyard 	
8 	Dirty Hands! Dirty Face! 	
9 	My Mammy 	
10 	There's A Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder 	
11 	Sonny Boy 	
12 	I"m In Seventh Heaven 	
13 	Little Pal 	
14 	Used To You 	
15 	Why Can't You 	
16 	One Sweet Kiss 	
17 	Liza 	
18 	Let Me Sing And I'm Happy 	
19 	To My Mammy 	
20 	Looking At You 	
21 	When The Little Red Roses Get The Blues For You 	
22 	The Cantor 	
23 	Hallelujahm I'm A Bum 	
24 	Miami 	
25 	April Showers 	
26 	Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody 	

CD2
1 	I'm Going South 	
2 	Never Again 	
3 	California Here I Come 	
4 	The One I Love Belogs To Somebody Else 	
5 	Steppin' Out 	
6 	Feeling The Way That I Do 	
7 	My Papa Doesn't Two-Time No Time 	
8 	Lazy 	
9 	Mr. Radio Man 	
10 	Tomorrow Is Another Day	
11 	Mandalay 	
12 	Who Wants A Bad Little Boy 	
13 	Follow The Swallow 	
14 	I Wonder What's Become Of Sally 	
15 	All Alone 	
16 	You Forgot To Remember 
17 	Troubles A Bubble	
18 	Hello 'Tucky 	
19 	I'm Stting On Top Of The World 	
20 	You Flew AWay From The Nest 	
21 	Miami 	
22 	At Peace With The World 	
23 	Tonight's Mu Night With Baby 	
24 	When the REd Red Eobbin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin' Along

 

In early 1929, advertisements started appearing in all the major magazines announcing that Al Jolson had officially become an exclusive Brunswick recording artist. This was big news, as Jolson was the most famous entertainer in the world at that particular moment, hot off of the success of the first talking motion picture, The Jazz Singer, and its even bigger followup, The Singing Fool. He was also coming off of a very successful 10-year run with Columbia, and big stars just didn't jump from label to label back in those days without it being major news. This 11-song vinyl compilation of some of his earliest sides for the label is both enjoyable, vastly different-sounding from his Columbia sides, and confusing as well. Enjoyable because here we get Jolson working with the best orchestras contracted to the label, and the better musicianship and arrangements frame his vocals with empathy previously lacking on the Columbia sides. The Columbia tracks, while charming and a lasting recorded testament to vaudeville performing at its zenith, sound comparatively thin with their cruder recording techniques and preponderance of novelty material. But what is most confusing here are the inclusion of tracks recorded for Brunswick as far back as 1926, with sessions in 1927 and 1928, done before Jolson officially signed with the label. Was Jolie moonlighting, or stockpiling sides surreptitiously while waiting out the remainder of his Columbia contract? Alas, it's probably all lost to the mists of time now, but this small collection features some of the rare and great cuts by him at the peak of his fame and his immense talent. Two alternate takes are worth noting here, a first-take swipe at one of his signature tunes, "Let Me Sing and I'm Happy," and a storming run through of "Blue River," cut in 1927. Of special note is an unissued take of the pop novelty "When the Little Red Roses Get the Blues For You," where Jolson loses it and cracks up on the first verse, somehow pulls it together and keeps going, finishing the track with a humorous vocal tag imitating Betty Boop! A true must-hear for Jolson fans. ---Cub Koda, AllMusic Review

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