Notes and Editorial Reviews
This double-CD set (part of the French RCA Jazz Tribune series) includes all of King Oliver's Victor recordings of 1929-30, except for a few alternate takes. The 32 selections are better than one might expect, considering that Oliver's playing abilities were rapidly fading (due to serious gum problems). The cornetist in fact takes a few memorable solos, particularly on "Too Late" and "Struggle Buggy." But it is the high musicianship of his sidemen that make this set so enjoyable, including trumpeters Dave Nelson, Red Allen, and Bubber Miley (who is outstanding on "St. James Infirmary"); trombonists J.C. Higginbottham and Jimmy Archey; clarinetist Omer Simeon; altoist Charlie Holmes; and, filling in for Oliver, cornetists Louis Metcalf and Punch Miller.
-- Scott Yanow, AllMusic.com