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Red Norvo: Knockin' On Wood - His 44 Finest 1933-1958



Retrospective pays a unique tribute to the jazz pioneer of the xylophone and vibes, American bandleader Kenneth Norville (1908-1999), who achieved fame as Red Norvo.

Knockin’ On Wood (the title of his first solo record) presents a 2-hour, 38-minute survey of the 25-year zenith of the virtuoso’s extraordinary career, beginning with the best of his epoch-making small group recordings: classics on which he plays alongside the likes of Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson, Artie Shaw and Bunny Berigan.

After playing with Goodman and Woody Herman, Norvo began the 50s with his famous trio (Tal Farlow & Charlie Mingus and, later, Jimmy Raney & Red Mitchell), and six choice numbers are included featuring both trio line-ups (Swedish Pastry to Bernie’s Tune). The whole heady mix is rounded off with 6 late-50s highlights from Norvo’s small groups (First Things First) and orchestra (Britt’s Blues). It is fascinating to compare both recordings of the celebrated Just A Mood, the first with Harry James from 1937 and, 20 years later, the second with Harry Sweets Edison. It all adds up to one of the finest of Retrospective’s vintage jazz issues.

Red Norvo: Knockin' On Wood - His 44 Finest 1933-1958