The Jazz Crusade Audio Sampler Catalog
JCCD-3057: Lee Collins--Club Hangover Airshots Vol. 2

Personnel: Lee Collins [tp], Bob McCracken [cl], Bert Johnson [tb] Ralph Sutton, Don Ewell [pn], Dale Deacon Jones [sbs], Smokey Stover [dm]

Songs: Fidgety Feet, Chinatown My Chinatown, Basin Street Blues, Big Butter & Egg Man, Royal Garden Blues, If I Could Be with You, The Bucket's Got A Hole In It, After You've Gone, Save It Pretty Mama, Original Dixie Jass Band One-step, St. James Infirmary, Indiana.

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Reviews for:
JCCD-3057: Lee Collins--Club Hangover Airshots Vol. 2

IAJRC Journal—U. S. Jazz Magazine

Two compact discs of very solid Dixieland jazz with plenty of playing time. The fidelity is rather low but the music quality is quite good. I am glad that Bill Bissonnette of Jazz Crusade made these sides available again. Most of these sides had seen life briefly on vinyl as Rarities LP 31 and 32. This music is valuable not only for its historical value but also for the fact that it is darn good music.
Lee Collins surely was not over recorded in his life. He had a few sides with Jelly Roll Morton in 1924, some work with blues singers a bit later on. Also he recorded those few but marvelous sides known as Jones and Collins Astoria Hot Eight and then some things with Mezzrow and a couple of other things.
A bit of explanation on the second volume is in order. Ralph Sutton is on the first date, the 4 tunes beginning this volume, and then Don Ewell is on the rest. Ewell does not appear on volume one at all. The band is very tight and shows the fact that they were working quite steady over a period of time. I wonder if they appeared any other places beside the Club Hangover in San Francisco? Anyway, if this type of music is your ilk, these are good recordings to add even though, as mentioned, the fidelity isn't all that good.
- Herb Young


Boxell's Jazz Website - New Zealand

These two fascinating CDs are live recordings from the Club Hangover circa 1953. The recordings were originally put out on CBS radio in San Francisco. The trumpet man in the two line-ups featured is Lee Collins, a vastly underrated jazzman. Collins was a New Orleans contemporary of Louis Armstrong and studied under the same music teacher, Peter Davies. Collins replaced Armstrong in King Oliver's band when Louis left in 1924.
Collins' playing is similar to Armstrong's when he was leading his Hot 5 and Hot 7. Whereas Louis went on to change his style to suit the big bands of the 30's and 40's and varying it again when he hit the road with his Louis Armstrong Allstars in the 50's and 60's, Lee stayed playing a hot 20's style horn. Like so many other traditional American jazzmen of the period, Collins moved around, playing in New York, Chicago before ending up in San Francisco. In 1951 he accompanied Mez Mezzrow to Europe. On a second tour, in 1954, he returned home early with what later turned out to be emphysema that then slowly killed him.
The quality of the recordings is not quite 'BBC', but the quality of the jazzmen is never in doubt and Lee Collins is magnificent. Any failings of the sound quality is more than made up for by the opportunity to listen to a unique jazzman on some unique recordings. No serious jazz collector can pass these CDs up.
- Geoff Boxell


Kings Jazz Review - England

A member of the Young Eagles band at the age of twelve, Lee Collins was born in New Orleans at the turn of the last century, and in 1960 he died in Chicago of a stroke after suffering badly a long period of illness. In 1924, as Jimmy Lyons of CBS announces when introducing the West Ends Blues track on this album, Lee joined King Oliver, and around that period he, Collins, also recorded with Jelly Roll Morton. The West End Blues number here is perhaps the Lee Collins version of it when he was with the "King" all stars, and not the well-known version by Louis Armstrong. Ralph Sutton, in 1968 was a founder member of the World's Greatest Jazz Band, and during the prior decade when the air shots were recorded, he was pianist at the Eddie Condon Club in New York, and who today can be frequently heard at clubs and venues in London, England.
Although Lee Collins is undoubtedly the star of the recordings, special note is merited for the Pud Brown period of clarinet playing with honk sax on The Johnson Rag which is impressive, but if the tune is dedicated to James P. then it's out of kilter.
The eight and a half minutes of I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say is sheer delight.
Influenced by Fats Waller and Earl "Fatha" Hines, Don Ewell (Vol.2) in brief, led a five piece in St Louis, which included trumpeter, bandleader Jewey Jackson, who in 1924, was with Fate Marable on the riverboats. Don was with Kid Ory on the West Coast at time of these recordings. A few years earlier he had moved to Chicago and played with Muggsy Spanier and Sydney Bechet where he absorbed the blues into his piano style at the time. An interesting facet of this Vol is to note the blues style clarinet on the second version of Fidgety Feet. Chinatown is breathtaking. Relax with Basin Street. ODJB One-Step; the longest tune brings a Dixieland flavour to the hearings.
Few will be alive today having heard Lee Collins play live in his early days, a few will be in possession of his 20s Jones and Collins Astoria Hot Eight, Victor takes, and the 1932 Bluebird Race Label re-issues, and so, much credit goes out to Jazz Crusade for giving us the opportunity to listen to these historic CBS Air Shots. Listen to them.
- Ian King


Jazzreview.com - U.S.A.

Trumpeter, Lee Collins (1901-1960), is considered by many to be one of the prime descendants of the style developed by uddy Bolden and Bunk Johnson. Born in New Orleans a few short months after Louis Armstrong, the two shared the same instructor, Peter Davis. Armstrong studied under Davis at the Waif's Home while Collins attended evening lessons at the teacher's residence. Lee Collins received additional training from Professor Jim Humphrey, grandfather of Percy and Willie Humphrey, who were well known through their appearances with the Preservation Hall bands. Collins recorded sparsely under his own name but is heard in the recordings of Luis Russell, King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton and later with his own Jones and Collins Astoria Hot Eight in 1929.
The recordings presented in this CD offering are air shots from broadcasts originating from San Francisco's "Club Hangover" during the late summer of 1953. The Club Hangover was immortalized in the late Joe Sullivan's composition "Hangover Blues." The two volumes place Lee Collins in the company of pianists Ralph Sutton (1922 - ) and Don Ewell (1916-1983). Both pianists require little introduction to jazz enthusiasts. Sutton was a stalwart of the bands of Eddie Condon, George Wettling, Jack Teagarden and The World's Greatest Jazz Band. He still performs today as a solo act. Don Ewell is a veteran of the bands of Muggsy Spanier, Kid Ory and Sidney Bechet and later recorded solo albums for Good Time Jazz and other labels. Add a couple of great reed players to the mix in the persons of Pud Brown and Bob McCracken and the whole thing begins to cook.
The two CDs combine to include a total of 28 tracks, recorded before a live audience and result in some of the hottest jazz on record. Collins is a "young" 52 years of age at the time and is in fine form. The influence of Louis and Bunk is undeniable and most welcome. In spite of his few prior recordings, Lee Collins holds a major place in jazz history. Some tunes must be mentioned specifically as they are quite outstanding. Among them are West End Blues, After You've Gone, Original Dixie Jass Band One Step, I've Found a New Baby, If I Could Be With You and I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say.
Lee Collins plays in a hot and punchy style and when working with the backing of Pud Brown and the pianists, the music becomes breathtaking. This is exciting material and highly recommended listening. Thanks to Dr. Colin Bray for making his collected material available to Jazz Crusade.
- Richard Bourcier


AMG **** Review - U. S. Jazz Guide

This is the companion volume to Lee Collins at Club Hangover, Vol. 1. There are a few differences between this album and the first volume, the most significant being that pianist Don Ewell is featured rather than Ralph Sutton (even though Sutton shows up on the first four tracks). The other big difference is that, while the play list continues to accent familiar New Orleans favorites, there are more slower tempo performances on this disk than on Vol. 1. This allows Collins and his crew to show that they are just as adept at playing that slow drag tempo unique to New Orleans traditional jazz. There is also another change in the ensemble, as Bob McCracken replaces Pud Brown on reeds. The difference between these two fine players is indistinguishable. Like Vol. 1, this is toe-tapping, arm-swinging New Orleans jazz at its best, and is recommended. And also like Vol. 1, the interesting and knowledgeable liner notes by Colin Bray enhance this release considerably.
- Dave Nathan


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