Joe Mooney: Greatness & Happiness - JazzWax

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January 29, 2009


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Michael Steinman

As is my habit, I will drag readers back seventy or so years. Joe and his brother recorded as the Sunshine Boys, and all of their recordings from 1929-31 are expertly collected on CD: THE SUNSHINE BOYS (Retrieval RTR 79039), with characteristically exquisite transfers from the original 78s by the late John R.T. Davies. The duo of Joe and Dan is wonderfully swinging and also weirdly, cheerfully androgynous in that high-tenor way so common in the period. And, even better, the records have hot solos by the Dorsey Brothers, Dick McDonough, Joe Venuti, Benny Goodman and others. The records aren't well-known but they are irresistible. And now I'm going to look around for the CD reissue of Mooney's Columbias. Wow! Thanks, Marc.

Red Colm O'Sullivan

I love those Joe Mooney records so very much too, Marc. This was great - hearing Mundell's thoughts and stories (did you ask Mundell about Louis Stewart yet?).
And - Michel Legrand is doing a concert in Dublin tomorrow night. Now THAT'S a big deal!!!

Ian Carey

Just catching up belatedly on my JazzWax--it's great to learn some Joe Mooney back story. I've loved his accordion-playing quartet sides (now available as part of the "Squeeze Me" boxed set here) since I was first introduced to them 10 years or so ago by a friend, who happened to get a tape of them from her friend, who was none other than Terry Teachout.

Ian Carey

Whoops, it left out the link:

Jay Willette

This is just tremendous stuff.. although, I'd love a little more focus on Mundy himself and his incredible contribution to Jazz in America, both as a uniquely colorful performer and a writer/arranger. I am so hopeful that his 70+ year legacy and his many musical collaborations will be lost to history in the absence of a competent /knowledgeable biographer,,multi media.. what a dvd set this would make.. RU listening NPR?? JW

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
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