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Meet McKinney's Cotton Pickers

Part One, Two, and Three (Dramatized)
Narrated by: Guy Rathbun
Length: 2 hrs and 56 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A documentary about the celebrated 1920's group, featuring the fully re-mastered music of this classic band and its stars: Don Redman, Cuba Austin, John Nesbitt, Claude Jones, George Thomas, Prince Robinson, Dave Wilborn, Todd Rhodes, Milton Senior and Ralph Escudero. Plus Lonnie Johnson and members of the Jean Goldkette Orchestra.
©2007 Guy Rathbun; (P)2007 Guy Rathbun

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Meet Some Jazz Greats!

Excellent preview of the seminal jazz group, McKinney's Cotton Pickers. Guy Rathbun introduces the group's members and its music in mostly chronological order - starting with their RCA Victor recording sessions in 1927 up through 1930. Although I was familar with a few of their recordings, It was definitely worthwhile to hear many of these sessions with commentary. Rathbun relates a few anecdotes and introduces each song with who was playing and a hint of what to listen for during the piece. I was especially interested in the group's version of Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust" which was an uptempo version (the way Hoagy had originally written it) and featured bluesman Lonnie Johnson on guitar. This and some of the other songs highlighted listed the group as "The Chocolate Dandies" because they were recorded at the Okeh recording studio against their contract with Victor. Later some of their recordings featured a young Benny Carter and Coleman Hawkins. Rathbun's enthusiasm for the music came through clearly in his commentary and I gained a further appreciation for the group's musicianship and innovation. A wonderful listen and I wanted more!