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BACK TO AB FABLE


AB FABLE CD REVIEWS


I donÕt ordinarily endorse the productions of an entire CD label, but Anthony BarnettÕs AB Fable series
of reissues is something special: rare music, beautifully annotated and transferred, delightfully presented.
BarnettÕs notes are erudite but never dull. Each CD IÕve heard has been a joyous experience in preconception-shattering.
I used to think of jazz violin improvisation beyond Joe Venuti and StŽphane Grappelli as a mildly inconvenient experience.
Grudgingly, I acknowledged that it was possible to play compelling jazz on the instrument, but I was politely waiting for
Ray Nance to pick up his cornet. BarnettÕs CDs have effected a small conversion experience for me—and
even if you donÕt have the same transformation take place, they are fun to listen to over and over again.
– Michael Steinman, Jazz Lives, January 6, 2009, http://jazzlives.wordpress.com/


In the 1930Õs, two jazz violinists were matched by two great classical artists with analogous strengths and failings: Eddie South
was the Heifetz, classically trained, technically impeccable, always making a lovely sound, sometimes skating over the surface;
Stuff Smith was the Huberman, sometimes scratchy, sometimes plain irritating, never bland, often impishly irresistible. . . .
Smith can imitate the attack of a trumpet or a clarinet—a device also in the armoury of Casals and Teris.
At other times he winds fascinating elaborations around someone elseÕs solo. His scat singing is inventive and
although he overdoes the call-and-response routine, heÕs a tonic for our present Depression, as he was in the 1930s.
– Tully Potter, The Strad, March 2009


Ne vous rendez par sur le site www.abar.net dÕAnthony Barnett si vous avez un train ˆ prendre.
Vous risquez de vous lasisser distraire par la multitude de liens qui sÕy dŽploient vers dÕautres sites.
. . . Et si vous hŽsitez ˆ utiliser votre carte de crŽdit sur le Net, sachez quÕAnthony Barnett
a un compte en France ˆ la SociŽtŽ GŽnŽrale, signe dÕune grande ŽlŽgance.
– Alfred Sordoillet, Une vie au violon, Jazz Magazine, juillet–aožt 2009


Over the past decade, AB Fable has epitomized the concept of a specialized label par excellence. The UK-based company
has increased our knowledge and appreciation of violin jazz exponentially with a couple dozen fantastic titles.
– Duck Baker, AllAboutJazz-New York, July 2010


For the past few years, most of the cuts featuring jazz violin that have really knocked me out have come from a single source—Anthony Barnett.
Mr. Barnett is the worldÕs leading expert on jazz violinist Stuff Smith, and is the author of several books about Stuff.
He has also authored a wonderful volume on Eddie South, another great jazz violinist.
A consummate collector for many years, Anthony has done a ton of work assembling CDs of fantastic violin performances.
Some discs are dedicated to individual artists such as the two IÕve mentioned above, while others are potpourris of violinists, both
known and unknown. The exhaustive liner notes and booklets that accompany the discs also showcase rare photos of many of the artists.
. . . When you pop a CD from AnthonyÕs AB Fable series into your player, you had better fasten your seat belt, as you will be in for a wild ride.
. . . In an interchange of e-mails with Anthony a while back, I mentioned that I thought that I might have some Stuff Smith
recordings that he didnÕt have. His reply was, ÒIf you have any Stuff Smith that I donÕt have, IÕll eat my hat, and StuffÕs too, which I have.Ó
With a guy like that, you just shut up, get out of his way, devour his books, and let the terrific music he releases take you to musical heaven!
– Paul Anastasio, Fiddler Magazine, Fall 2010



*


2010 RELEASE


ABCD1-024 STUFF SMITH FEATURING ELLA FITZGERALD
LETÕS LISTEN TO LUCIDIN


read Michael SteinmanÕs review online at Jazz Lives, 12 April 2010
Hear Ella, Stuff, and Ben in 1937!

The sound quality is mostly surprisingly good. The music is just fine and brings back memories of the pre (seond) war years.
. . . I can certainly recommend this very nice CD to everybody who is interested in good music from long ago.
It certainly belongs in every collection of Ben Webster recordings.
– Sjef Hoefsmit, International DEMS Bulletin, April–July 2010

HereÕs another set of rarities, never before released, and available now partly because of the foresight of
Jonah Jones and Edgar Sampson, in commissioning airchecks of the broadcasts they took part in; partly because
the Edgar Sampson material has been made available by the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University . . .
and lastly, because of the determination of Anthony Barnett in getting these rare and unheard tracks onto CD.
. . . the quality of transfers is not always as good as on some of ABÕs earlier releases: the original acetates from
Jonah JonesÕ own archive were clearly in poor shape when they were dubbed, and AB has done his best with them.
The Sampson material is of much better technical quality and has been transferred digitally. But donÕt let this problem detract
from the pleasure of listening to these tracks: thereÕs a wealth of first-class jazz here, and you wonÕt get it anywhere else.
– Max Easterman, VJMÕs Jazz & Blues Mart, summer 2010
SampsonÕs
charts are workmanlike and provide a good stimulus for some really exciting soloing.
AnthonyÕs album notes are typically detailed and scholarly with soloist identifications, lots of background
information on the broadcasts and details of some of the missing programmes. There is also a nice selection
of clearly printed photographs. This is an important release both for the musicÕs rarity and its quality.
It should appeal to all big band swing fans who are intrigued by this unusual combination of top talent.
– Bob Weir, Jazz Journal, June 2010

This CD gives us the chance to hear [EllaÕs] youthful exuberance in broadcasts apart from those with the Chick Webb band
. . . most of this is top-flight excitement. . . . Stuff was a master of slipping in a weekÕs worth of brilliance in just four bars.
– Andy Simons, IAJRC Journal, June 2010

. . . previously unissued big band swing played by an allstar lineup under the titular leadership of Stuff Smith.
In fact, though he does play some crackling solos, Smith is not the dominent force here. Trumpeter Jonah Jones, tenormen
Ben Webster and Walter ÒFootsÓ Thomas and perrenially underrated trombonist Sandy Williams all get space to shine
and Ella Fitzgerald is at her youthful best, singing several numbers that she never recorded elsewhere.
The rhythm section of Clyde Hart, John Kirby, and Cozy Cole is dynamite. But the real star of
these shows is arranger Edgar Sampson . . . Yes, Smith fans will want this, but so will hard-core Ella
devotees, swing lovers and, most of all, those who appreciate the near-perfect writing of Edgar Sampson.
– Duck Baker, AllAboutJazz-New York, July 2010
Anthony
Barnett never ceases to amaze. Just when you think he could not possibly find
any more previously unreleased material by violinist Stuff Smith, he comes up with [this CD].
Stuff SmithÕs discography has once again been greatly enriched by these treasures unearthed and issued . . .
– Vincent Pelote, AESC Journal, Fall 2010

This CD is a particular triumph . . . Young Ella is in pearly, playful form here.
A few tracks have unavoidable surface noise, but only the most finicky will reject the opportunity to hear
these new performances . . . a real pleasure; the liner is illustrated with rare photographs and drawings.
– Michael Steinman, Cadence, Jan, Feb, March 2011



*


2008 RELEASES 2009


read Will FriedwaldÕs review online in The Wall Street Journal, 16 February 2009
Jazz Violin? Three Releases Full of Surprises

As usual British specialty-label chief Anthony Barnett, the Boswell of jazz violin, has come up with some amazing
discoveries of jazz and blues violinists on rare recordings. Most of the tracks on these three albums of violin improvisation
studies are either previously unreleased or have not been reissued before. Each disc is crammed with [27 or] 28 full-length cuts.
ThereÕs no question about getting your moneyÕs worth. . . .
If youÕre not familiar with this series, I urge you to visit the AB Fable website for a description of
the many great jazz violin CDs now available, all made as a labor of love and printed in limited runs.
– Stacy Phillips, Strings, April 2009


Had you asked my opinion of Jazz violin ten years ago, I would have said that it was intriguing in small doses.
I have shifted my thinking because of Anthony Barnett, a Jazz scholar who issues remarkable CDs on his AB Fable label
(as well as books, discographies, and, for a long time, a journal devoted to violin improvisation). Barnett is a model for people who
call themselves Jazz scholars and reissue producers. He is diligent, erudite without being stuffy; BarnettÕs witty, acerbic prose
is worth the price. I last invoked his name in praise of his extraordinary book on pianist-composer Henry Crowder. . . .
For Jazz violin fanciers, these CDs collect rare treasures, beautifully annotated and transferred;
for Jazz scholars, they are the equivalent of years of study; for the rest of us, they are enlightening fun.
Flying blind, or listening to music without being hampered by preconceptions, opens the mind in refreshing ways.
– Michael Steinman, Cadence, April, May, June 2009


Anthony Barnett has come up with three more marvelous violin-themed CDs to add to his AB Fable library.
Each CD has informative liner notes including discographical information and rare photos. The printing is rather
small, but that probably wonÕt bother younger eyes. The sound on all three CDs is very good to excellent
– Vincent Pelote, ARSC Journal, spring 2010




ABCD1-018 PROFESSOR VISITS HARLEM
ANTHOLOGY OF SWING STRINGS


Some of the best jazz comes . . . from Dick Wetmore, Svend Asmussen and a party tape of Smith with two other fiddlers.
– Tully Potter, The Strad, March 2009

No CD has surveyed the 1930s–Õ50s swing string ensembles until the groundbreaking Professor Visits Harlem.
Most of the performers are not swing violinists and many probably are reading the arrangements.
The majority of the groups are small, with two to four violins and occasional neat cello work. The results
range from charming to clunky, but all should give the curious some hip, genteel ideas for string arranging.
– Stacy Phillips, Strings, April [online 23 February] 2009

This single CD is a wondrous swirl of swing music . . .
What these swing tracks also elevate is the arrangerÕs art, which isnÕt held in nearly
high esteem as the famous soloists. But thereÕs lots of great soloing on this CD too. . . .
Again, AB Fable does the right things.
– Andy Simons, IAJRC Journal, March 2009

. . . a delightful odyssey through nearly three decades of swinging string ensembles, and the disc is full of enlivening surprises.
– Michael Steinman, Cadence, April, May, June 2009

The strings go zing-zinging on Professor Visits Harlem. Quite unlike any other anthology youÕre likely to
have run into of late, weÕre treated to three decades of jazz string ensembles, starting off Two Violins One Siday,
a group whose 1931 take on ÒDinahÓ is very finah. . . . piquant pleasure . . . unique delight.
– Andy VŽlez, All About Jazz, May 2009

. . . une captivante anthologie des ensembles ˆ cordes . . .
– Alfred Sordoillet, Une vie au violon, Jazz Magazine, juillet–aožt 2009

. . . delightful selection . . . reflects the developments in jazz and near-jazz over the three decades covered.
All of AnthonyÕs AB Fable albums are meticulously documented; in this case with full personnel and recording data,
interesting and honest historical and critical commentary and lavish illustrations in the stylish 12-page booklet.
Sound quality is excellent with only a couple of moderate exceptions which
never detract from listening enjoyment. . . . hearing the album (and you really should) . . .
– Bob Weir, Jazz Journal, August 2009

The final track is one of the best: a private party recording by three unaccompanied violins: Stuff Smith,
Harold Hensley (his party) and Jimmy Bryant, which proves that with three top class musicians, in this case
from quite different backgrounds (Hensley is a country player, Bryant better known as a guitarist), the results
will rarely be less than exciting. Countrio throbs with rhythm and drive, even though the three violins have no
backing group at all; if you should ever want to know what swing is, then all you have to do is listen to this recording.
To say this is a varied collection is an understatement but . . . there are some treasures here. . . . Whoever the players are
on [the Dinah test], its inclusion, and that of [Bay EnsembleÕs Exactly Like You], make this CD worth every penny.
. . . the best tracks on this CD are, thankfully, the rarities, which make the whole project worthwhile.
– Max Easterman, VJMÕs Jazz and Blues Mart, autumn 2009

. . . a great CD of string ensembles.
– Vincent Pelote, ARSC Journal, spring 2010



ABCD2-019/20 BLOWS ÕNÕ RHYTHM
THE HOTTEST BOWS


Blows ÕnÕ Rhythm [is] a two-disc set for the enthusiast who wants something by virtually every jazz or swing fiddler.
Nice examples of Smith, South, Clarence Black, Johnny Creach and Emilio C‡ceres are included . . .
– Tully Potter, The Strad, March 2009

This two-CD set is wonderful. . . .
We learn a lot from seminal sessions that contain some aspects of what would be the future. . . .
As ever with this label, the booklet is generously informative.
. . . the notes text by Howard Rye meet the high bench mark you would expect . . .
– Andy Simons, IAJRC Journal, March 2009

. . . solos de violon dÕexcellente qualitŽ. Cette production originale permettra peut-tre ˆ beaucoup dÕentre
nous de revoir certain prŽjugŽs contre ce qui Didier Lockwood appelait un Òinstrument aveugleÓ,
capable du meilleur et du pire. Barnett, en gŽnŽral, a su choisir le meilleur.
– AndrŽ Fonteyne, Soul Bag, March 2009

Blows ÕnÕ Rhythm, a double-CD set, lays out the recorded history of the contributions of violinists to the development of
swing blues to rhythm and blues, spanning 1939–1959. ItÕs a mind-blowing trip with . . . recognizable jazz fiddlers . . .
But there are lots of rarities and pleasant surprises for any violinist looking for non-gut-bucket-style blues on the violin.
Kudos to Barnett for finding this stuff. This collection is highly recommended.
– Stacy Phillips, Strings, April 2009

. . . wild and wonderful compilation . . . extraordinary breadth of material . . .
– Ray Templeton, Blues ÕnÕ Rhythm, April 2009

. . . a true piece de resistance. It feels as if we had been invited to a collectorÕs gathering and everyone offered
up their best (and rarest) recordings for an evening, the theme being fine improvising violinists in a variety of genres.
– Michael Steinman, Cadence, April, May, June 2009

. . . [Howard] Rye notes in his extensive and typically very detailed notes, how Òhot virtuoso improvisation
is not an exclusive preserve of the jazz and blues tradition.Ó This remarkable set does that and more, and
readers who are interested in exploring the wide range of African-American musical traditions should
pick up this set and other of the lovingly produced CDs issued by AB Fable.
– Scott Barretta, Living Blues, April 2009

A fascinating collection of 55 violin recordings, mainly in a jive or rhythm & blues style, all very rare or previously
unissued. The recordings are presented in chronological order, with full discographical details (as could be expected)
and very informative notes by Howard Rye. . . . A very good overview of R&B related violin playing.
– Han Enderman, Names & Numbers, April 2009

Le sous-titre quie mentionne Òfiddle curiositiesÓ est Žloquent.
Attention : violonists de tous poils, en manque dÕinspiration, Žcoutez dÕurgence cette merveille ! . . .
Quel plaisir ! Les violons sifflent, miaulent, hurlent ou rugissent, a joue et a sonne !
. . . difficile dՎvoquer tous les bons moments, car tout est de trs haute tenue.
– Jean-Christophe Rouet, Jazz Classique, avril 2009

Double CD set tracing the history of the violin in jazz and R&B. An extraordinary concept,
ranging from Bo Diddley to Eddie South, including much that has never been on CD before.

57 wonderful performances, nicely mastered, with good notes and full recording details.
anon., fRoots, May 2009

This remarkable, fully loaded two-CD set features material from two decades of musical history
stretching from the outer boundaries of swing . . . to the outskirts of rock ÕnÕ roll . . . Full session details,
vintage photos and exhaustive liners by Howard Rye pretty much explain all that needs explaining.
Five stars!
– Gary von Tersch, Big City Blues, June–July 2009

. . . featuring a host of hot violins, from the well-known to the totally obscure; in between come many you
may vaguely have heard of but not actually heard and know little about. Others you will probably never
come across (some at least because theyÕve not been commercially released), unless you buy these CDs . . .
for those of you who are prepared to take your jazz from wherever it may hail, there are some tasty surprises in store.
. . . The notes give exhaustive detail about the provenance of all issues . . . A great deal of excellent
research has gone into providing a wealth of information about all the groups featured. . . .
All in all, these are fascinating CDs, with, as I said at the start, loads of surprises (not all of them bad, and some
indeed very good) and tantilising glimpses into the odder corners of the jazz world. Do not be put off by
some of the names and titles: most of these tracks are worth a listen and the majority will make you realise
just how broad a church jazz and its related styles are—and how little we know about some of them.
– Max Easterman, VJMÕs Jazz and Blues Mart, summer 2009

. . . a fascinating two disc collection of violin players in all kinds of settings
from jazz to calypso to early rock as well as other kinds of music.
– Vincent Pelote, ARSC Journal, spring 2010



ABCD1-021 EDDIE SOUTH
DARK ANGEL ALBUM SETS


I enjoy his versions of Hejre Kati, KreislerÕs Praeludium and Allegro and PaganiniÕs 24th, where he manages
to swing several of PaganiniÕs own variations. . . . Daphne has amazing harmonics.
– Tully Potter, The Strad, March 2009

. . . covers some of the 1940–1946 output of one of the pioneers of jazz violin.
It finds South accompanied by society orchestras (with some vocals) or (happily) small swing ensembles.
On the latter, SouthÕs outstanding swing chops are evident. On other cuts, he sounds more like a cocktail-club
strolling violinist. On these, his conservatory training comes to the forefront, with some light classical, tango,
and Gypsy pieces mixed in with standards from the American songbook.
– Stacy Phillips, Strings, April 2009

South might have been the finest improvising violinist of his century in terms of classical technique.
He never misses, his phrases have beautiful shape, and his tone is delicious. The CD shows the breadth of his
repertoire, from gypsy miniatures to tender ballads to hot Swing. Each track is a fully realized performance.
– Michael Steinman, Cadence, April, May, June 2009

South est un phŽnomne. . . . South, gr‰ce ˆ sa grande aisance sur lÕinstrument, due surtout
ˆ son hŽritage de musicien classique, phrase superbement, swingue er sÕamuse avec lÕorchestre.
Son jeu lyrique ˆ souhait nous embarque dÕun thme ˆ lÕautre, avec ce son plein et cette
justesse dÕintonation qui le caractŽrisent. . . . pour tous les violonistes chaque interprŽtation de
South peut tre une source dÕinspiration, ne serait-ce que pour la richesse de ses improvisations.
– Jean-Christophe Rouet, Jazz Classique, avril 2009

AB Fable continues to dig up rarities of real merit. This one is a great addition to any jazz
collection but especially to lovers of jazz violin. It fits in so nicely with his previous rescues. . . .
The booklet is comprehensive and a discographerÕs dream. There are several very interesting photos.
I just find this whole package so welcome and it shall remain a prized CD in my collection.
– Herb Young, IAJRC Journal, June 2009

I doubt if anything can be more obscure than this collection . . .
The chances are that this will all be new to practically the entire JJ readership
. . . demonstrate[s] that South was a versatile violinist who could play convincingly in many different styles. . . .
You would have to be an Eddie South fanatic and be willing to take large helpings of sugar with the spice
to enjoy all of this music. On the other hand, Anthony's enterprise merits support because he is alone in
rediscovering and studiously documenting the buried history of jazz and near-jazz violin improvisers.
– Bob Weir, Jazz Journal, August 2009

A fair proportion of SouthÕs output at this period was of material which can at best be described as of marginal jazz interest.
Less forgiving commentators have dismissed it as pure kitsch. That is unfair, as itÕs very good of its kind
and well enough executed for what it is, which is light classical and gypsy inspired melodies.
South clearly aspired to stylistic heights, which were outside the interest and experience of most jazz buffs.
The frustrating point for the jazz lover, is that he was unable to restrain his rhythmic and improvisational leanings,
so that even the most un-jazzy tunes have flashes of jazz brilliance within them. . . .
So, a mixed bag here: the best tracks are worthy of any jazz collection, and Eddie South at his best is unbeatable.
– Max Easterman, VJMÕs Jazz and Blues Mart, autumn 2009

This CD demonstrates all of SouthÕs [musical] loves. . . .
This may not be essential South, but itÕs definitely worth owning.
– Vincent Pelote, ARSC Journal, spring 2010



ABCD1-022 JOE BUSHKIN AND STUFF SMITH
LIVE EMBERS 1964 AND c.1966 VIOLIN SOLOS


Although I keep muttering to myself, ÒI really donÕt like jazz violin all that much,Ó I find myself entranced
by the new CD that the jazz violin scholar Anthony Barnett has just issued on his AB Fable label. It features
about an hour of live jazz from the Embers night club—with pianist Joe Bushkin, violin wizard Stuff Smith,
under-praised bassist Whitey Mitchell, and the irreplaceable Jo Jones. In addition, thereÕs a fourteen-minute
solo private tape of Stuff, solo, exploring some of his compositions, as Sketches for a Symphony. Is it
the rarity of the performances? I admit that might initially be captivating but if you gave me the most unknown/rarest
music by someone whose work I couldnÕt tolerate, I would listen for sixty seconds and take it off.
The music itself is splendid: BushkinÕs energetic playing (his characteristic arpeggios and ripples) never falters,
and he seems to be having the time of his life, and his trumpet playing is much more convincing than I remember it as being
(He must have been practicing!) Stuff, although not featured throughout the hour, is in peak form, able to swing ferociously
with the minimum of notes, possessed of true jazz passion. Whitey Mitchell plays so well that he had me fooled:
I would have sworn that BushkinÕs regular bassist, the beloved Milt Hinton, was there under an alias.
And then Jo Jones is in prime form, delighting in playing in this band. He and Bushkin had a special rapport—
I saw it once, years later, when they came into the midtown Eddie CondonÕs and sat in with Ruby Braff and Milt Hinton
for an extended, riotous ÒYouÕre Driving Me CrazyÓ that became ÒMoten SwingÓ perhaps ten or twelve minutes later.
But what captured me more than anything else was the intimacy of the two sessions presented here.
I was not attending jazz clubs in 1964, being too young, but the taping of the Embers session is done from the
bandstand microphone (as far as I can tell) so we get all the musiciansÕ asides, the teasing, the inside jokes.
It has the feel of being part of the band—and part of a vanished scene, as when Bushkin ends the set by saying
that theyÕll be back at 2 a.m., but they can be found at P. J. ClarkeÕs or The Strollers in the meantime. And
the private tape that Stuff made (for himself, or as a demonstration of themes for a larger work?) is entrancing because
it is quite clearly a composer playing for himself: you can hear him breathe. ItÕs a divine kind of eavesdropping on a Master.
– Michael Steinman, Jazz Lives, October 26, 2009, http://jazzlives.wordpress.com/

This satisfying album combines two previously unissued tapes showing contrasting aspects of Stuff
SmithÕs immense talent as well as showcasing Joe BushkinÕs sophisticated, swinging piano. . . .
Their audible repartee indicates nothing but mutual enjoyment of each otherÕs playing.
The lengthy violin solos on ÒChicagoÓ and ÒUndecidedÓ are hot and gutsy and
Stuff is especially inventive during his exchanges with Jo Jones on ÒMy Blue HeavenÓ.
There is a rare opportunity to hear JoeÕs Bobby Hackett-style, middle register trumpet . . .
The second tape is a precious rarity. . . . a 15-minute home recording of StuffÕs solo playing of a selection of his
own compositions. . . . utterly charming and a long chalk from StuffÕs public persona as the wild man of the jazz violin.
Sound quality, considering the sources, is excellent and the playing time is generous. . . . stylish eight-page booklet
. . . erudite notes and some nice photographs add to a very appealing package which is strongly recommended.
– Bob Weir, Jazz Journal, November 2009

Here is another great Stuff Smith find . . . Has anyone swung harder?
His electric tone can best be described in the words of author Duncan Mclean as Òsandpaper with honey.Ó
– Stacy Phillips, Strings, February 2010

. . . there is much to appreciate here . . . and the CD as a whole is another
useful contribution to the corpus of recorded jazz (and beyond) on the violin.
– Max Easterman, VJM Jazz and Blues Mart, winter/spring 2010

If you havenÕt heard much by Smith, often credited as the first violinist to amplify his instrument, you should try it.
SmithÕs solos on ÒMy Blue HeavenÓ and ÒPlayÓ are metallic, careening and full of surprise.
ThereÕs another reason to listen: Jo Jones. His solos on ÒCalifornia, Here I ComeÓ do the most for a small room
with tables close to the musicians, spinning out fantasies with wire brushes, drum rims and high-hats.
– Ben Ratliff, New York Times, 14 March 2010

As always, Mr. BarnettÕs scholarship is more than admirable. Resolute and thorough in reconstructing provenance
and context for his material, exhaustive in his knowledge of the musicians, and both patient and painstaking in his work
with engineers to do everything possible to enhance the sound of the source tapes without actually transforming them.
. . . The cumulative effect of this and the other CDs in BarnettÕs catalog is an important demonstration of the vitality and
variety of the first two generations of Jazz violinsts—a demonstration that ultimately may help future historians better connect
the emergence of Jazz with a 19th Century American culture in which violin played a much larger and now largely forgotten role
than it has since. . . . The privately recorded Sketches for a Symphony are just that—Smith in unaccompanied workings out of fresh
but often incomplete ideas. Barnett has elsewhere documented SmithÕs attempts to synthesize elements from Jazz and
classical traditions, but the rawness of his effort here is worth the serious attention that this release at last makes possible.
– Michael Coyle, Cadence, April/May/June 2010

. . . Smith is heard in good form on a half-dozen tracks here and journeyman pianist Bushkin
(a fine Swing-Era player . . .) also plays some nice trumpet. . . . Smith fans will certainly want this CD; his later
work was always full of surprises and tracks like ÒMy Blue HeavenÓ should not be missed.
– Duck Baker, AllAboutJazz-New York, July 2010

What rescues this CD for the Smith fan disappointed by [his absence from some of] the Embers material is the 1966 tape
from Copenhagen that has Smith playing solo violin . . . I found this to be over 14 minutes of pure bliss that ended too soon.
– Vincent Pelote, ARSC Journal, Fall 2010

. . . [the solo violin track] was made at SmithÕs home, and the audio is pretty good for that. I do not know the
background that went into composing this most intimate music, but Stuff Smith must have been a rather complex person.
Some of this music is played with passion but much is very beautiful and tender. His humor shows through at places
but the vast majority [of the time] he is in a very serious state of mind. Buy this for the solo music at least!
The music he made at the Embers is more of what you would expect from this gifted artist. Bushkin is in fine form too.
. . . This CD can be easily recommended and, for Stuff Smith collectors, it is a mandatory purchase.
AB Fable continues to provide us with some outstandingly musical, swinging and rare violin jazz.
– Herb Young, IAJRC Journal, March 2011



*


ABCD2-004/5 STUFF SMITH & ROBERT CRUM
COMPLETE 1944 ROSENKRANTZ APARTMENT TRANSCRIPTION DUETS
Previously unreleased legendary recordings by The Jazz Violinist and The Classical Pianist
Two concert performances by Smith & Crum are released on ABCD2-007/8

. . . stream-of-consciousness improvisations . . . exciting, adventurous jazz . . . very much ahead of its time
– Billy Taylor in Jazz Piano, A History
. . . beautifully played by two remarkable musicians working harmoniously together . . .
. . . a ÒcrossoverÓ session using Òfree improvisationÓ long before those terms were conceived . . .
indispensable for those who are curious about such things
– Jack Bowers, Cadence, March 2003
. . . truly revolutionary genius . . . This is challenging listening musically, and also because these
early home recordings are nowhere near the technical quality we associate with commercial releases.
But stay with it; youÕll soon find yourself transported to a world of pure creative brilliance
– Matt Glaser, Strings, April 2003
. . . when Crum and Smith begin the big-time chance-taking and use their great ears to Ògo with the flowÓ
the result is very exciting music, perhaps best left uncategorized
– Stacy Phillips, Fiddler, summer 2003
Together, they invented the music they played, which is part jazz, part impressionism and part Òsee where the music takes usÓ
experimentation. . . . Sound is true to the source, and hasnÕt been given the false depth of digital reconstructions.
Through the scratch and scrape one can hear two fine musicians speculate about form with amazing delicacy and vigour.
– Ben Watson, Hi-Fi News, August 2003
. . . broadening the jazz worldÕs appreciation of the under-promoted genre of jazz violinists
[Crum] and Smith found mutually stimulating musical common ground
– Bob Weir, Jazz Journal, September 2003
. . . early efforts to expand the musicÕs language . . . Smith always had maverick tendencies, and
this release gives us a picture of the many facets of his musical personality that are only hinted at elsewhere
– Duck Baker, Coda, September/October 2003
The music heard here is an early attempt at what later became known as Third Stream,
a branch of music attempting to combine jazz and classical elements in various degrees.
– Vincent Pelote, ARSC Journal, Fall 2004



ABCD1-006 RAY PERRY
COMPLETE 1944 C. W. FRENCH & 1945 ROSENKRANTZ APARTMENT TRANSCRIPTIONS
Previously unreleased extended improvisations by Lionel HamptonÕs transitional swing to bop violinist
with Parker pianist Argonne Thornton aka Sadik Hakim and South, Grappelli, Reinhardt bassist Wilson Myers
and fugitive sextet recordings with Sabby Lewis

. . . undoubtedly one of the great unheralded giants of jazz violin
– Matt Glaser, Strings, April 2003
These [1945] selections have not been issued before and they are deserving of your investigation. . . . a real find
– Russ Chase, IAJRC Journal, spring 2003
. . . masterful, hard-driving, swinging fiddle of the highest order
– Stacy Phillips, Fiddler, summer 2003
. . . praise for PerryÕs playing is wholly justified . . . the best opportunity we have of hearing the seldom recorded Perry
– Bob Weir, Jazz Journal, July 2003
If this record is specialized in its appeal, itÕs not because of PerryÕs playing, which is brilliant throughout.
The music has that nice swing-to-bop bite that so much mid-40Õs jazz shares,
and the titular leader will be a delightful discovery for most listeners.
– Duck Baker, Coda, September/October 2003
. . . quite phenomenal . . . harmonic sophistication and hard swing . . . essential for fans of Ray Perry, and jazz violin.
– Vincent Pelote, ARSC Journal, Fall 2004


ABCD2-007/8 STUFF SMITH
1944–1946 STUDIO, BROADCAST, CONCERT & APARTMENT PERFORMANCES
A unique collection transferred from original sources of most of SmithÕs unreleased with released recordings of the period
including Asch session with previously unreleased outtakes, complete Mildred Bailey and Jubilee show performances
complete 1944 Times Hall trio with Jones/Levy and duo with Crum, 1945 Town Hall trio newly transferred
previously unreleased recordings with Erroll Garner, Chicago and New York airchecks and fugitive 78s

. . . revolutionary, wildly swinging genius, and there is no better place to capture a
glimpse of this wild man at the peak of his powers than on these two newly released discs
– Matt Glaser, Strings, April 2003
What joy! . . . such a new cache of Smith in his prime is a no-brainer purchase
– Stacy Phillips, Fiddler, summer 2003
SmithÕs genius was for digital dexterity and improvising at a hectic speed. He had a natural feeling for harmony
unsurpassed by any of his peers and could shade his intonation on either side of the note with amazing accuracy
A lot of effort has gone into making this material so listenable
– Tully Potter, The Strad, July 2003
This double album is a Stuff Smith completistÕs dream because it offers well over two hours of
extreme rarities and unissued material by the great jazz fiddler in a wide variety of musical settings
– Bob Weir, Jazz Journal, September 2003
. . . this set is a must for hot fiddle fans and should be a high-priority item for anyone who loves hot swing soloing at its best
– Duck Baker, Coda, September/October 2003
For the true Smith devotee this is a must-have 2-disc set.
– Vincent Pelote, ARSC Journal, Fall 2004


ABCD1-009 EDDIE SOUTH
Tzigane in Rhythm
SOLO, TRIO, ORCHESTRA BROADCASTS, FILM & FUGITIVE 1940–1947
Including unreleased live broadcasts, private recordings with pioneer bebop-inflected pianist Allen Tinney
film soundtrack, unreleased Columbia and a previously unknown release


. . . excellent . . . his sometimes pyrotechnical style has earned him many admirers, including just about any jazz
violinist you can name. This CD fills in several gaps in his discography, and features some great playing.
– Duck Baker, Coda, September/October 2005
Overall, the set presents a varied picture of SouthÕs considerable talents . . . exceptional
and worth checking out.
– Jay Collins, Cadence, October 2005

. . . shows that the violinistÕs unique meld of art music and swing is accessible even to conservatory-trained jazz fans.
A peer of the first generation of jazz violinists in the 1920s, he is as chops-y as any player from any generation.
– Stacy Phillips, Strings, November 2005

Excellent swinging jazz predominates but gypsy, classical, ballads and blues genres are also represented . . .
There have never been many Eddie South albums so this issue is particularly welcome as an
introduction or reminder of the outstanding talents of one of the premier jazz violinists.
– Bob Weir, Jazz Journal, January 2006

Incredible as it may seem, here are twenty-six (out of 29) tracks by Eddie South that have never before been commercially released.
– Russ Chase, IAJRC Journal, winter 2006

South was perhaps the most technically-prodigious violinist the jazz world has encountered.
He had an exquisite tone and fluid, seamless technique . . . The twenty-nine tracks on this CD probably equal or
surpass his entire commercially-recorded output . . . This set greatly expands the available offerings of this superb musician . . .
– Russ Shore, VJMÕs Jazz and Blues Mart, summer 2006

Overall this is a fascinating CD for showcasing the talents of Eddie South. His playing throughout is first-rate . . .
– Vincent Pelote, ARSC Journal, spring 2007



ABCD1-010 GINGER SMOCK
Strange Blues
STUDIO & DEMO RECORDINGS 1946–1958
Including unreleased and rare recordings by the Central Avenue LA violinist who studied with Stuff Smith
in genres from bop to blues to pop including an unreleased RCA Victor session by The Jackson Brothers


. . . the Count Carter . . . instrumentals are SmockÕs magna opera. The wild and uninhibited ÒStrange BluesÓ reveals a major player.
. . . The scholarly presentation and inclusion of some material of mainly academic interest may put off some purchasers but I
fancy there are very few r ÕnÕ b buffs who will not be glad to have the Carter and Jackson sessions so give this your support.
If Smock had had more opportunities to record material as powerful as that we would rate her among the greats.
This is as far as we can go to right a historical injustice, but itÕs no pain.
– Howard Rye, Blues and Rhythm, August 2005

. . . excellent . . . Her style was informed by South and Stuff Smith but her voice is unmistakably original,
marked by a strong sense of swing, straightforward melodic approach and an excellent, edgy sound.
– Duck Baker, Coda, September/October 2005

Worth picking up for the Garry session alone.
– Jay Collins, Cadence, October 2005

Ginger undoubtedly belongs in the top echelon of hot fiddlers so this is another very welcome release.
– Bob Weir, Jazz Journal, January 2006

AB deserves our plaudits for his effort in coming up with this Ginger Smock material.
– Russ Chase, IAJRC Journal, winter 2006

. . . the technique of an Eddie South or a Stuff Smith, but with a unique way of phrasng and a sense of swing that was all her own.
– Michael John Simmons, Fiddler Magazine, summer 2006

This is a great CD for fans of jazz violin, because it sheds light on a very obscure but talented legend of the instrument
– Vincent Pelote, ARSC Journal, spring 2007

. . . dŽlicieuse et fougueuse violiniste . . .
– Alfred Sordoillet, Une vie au violon, Jazz Magazine, juillet–aožt 2009



ABCD2-011/12 I LIKE BE I LIKE BOP
Disc 1: AbbeyÕs Boogie / Disc 2: Bebop Woogie
ODDS & SVENDS OF EARLY AMERICAN & EUROPEAN BEBOP VIOLIN
& CONTEMPORARY VIOLIN CURIOSITIES 1940s–1950s
An ear-opening double anthology with rare 78s and unreleased broadcasts that establishes the chronology
and context of early bebop violin and rescues contemporary curiosities from obscurity with 96 page analytical-historical photo-essay
Almost Like Being in Bop: A Not-So-Brief Account of the Swing to Recorded Bebop & Progressive Violin in America and Europe
The essay ranges far and wide and includes new biographical-discographical findings, new interview quotations, previously unseen photos
The CDs include rare and unreleased recordings including broadcasts by
Americans: Abbey; Bella; Creach; Frigo; Girard; Kennedy; Lookofsky; Nance; Nero; Orloff; Otis; Perry; Smith; Smock; South; Wetmore
Europeans: Asmussen; Bacsik; Christensen; Grappelli; Iwring; Kahn; Laurence [Hodeir]; Ottersen; Wentzel Larsen; Zacharias
Many of the rare 78s have never before been rereleased including an exceptionally rare
1950s Leon Abbey recording and an overlooked Grappelli recording with George Shearing


Here is another of Anthony BarnettÕs exhaustively researched, interestingly programmed releases of jazz violin . . . His thesis
here is that the violin was more heavily involved than we previously thought in the progressive post-war jazz movement known as bebop.
One of the first things you notice is the extraordinary outburst of creative bass-playing in the post-Jimmie Blanton era . . .
The violinists on these 1944–59 recordings certainly explore the outer peripheries of the tunes, seeking out the harmonic implications.
– Tully Potter, The Strad, September 2005

. . . one would have thought that Stuff Smith would have paved the way for [the violin] to make an impact on modern jazz.
But seemingly this never occurred, with the instrument largely forgotten before the arrival of some free jazz and fusion stylists.
AB chief and jazz fiddle scholar Anthony Barnett has insisted for years that this impression is false and that, for instance,
one could speak intelligently about Òearly Scandinavian bopÓ violin. This may sound like the kind of alternative history that
would have North America discovered by Welshmen or the human race descended from extraterrestrials but the two and a half
hours of music presented on I Like Be I Like Bop prove conclusively that indeed, all the groundwork for modern jazz fiddle
was laid long ago. . . . At the end of the day Smith does emerge as the prophet of the new (albeit never widely known) style . . .
The notes . . . are invaluable . . . includes a long article that goes well beyond the music on the discs.
– Duck Baker, Coda, September/October 2005

. . . a remarkable document, a compilation of extremely rare recordings . . . The collection
is pretty much as exhaustive as one could present of this narrow arena and, to be sure, it is a joy.
Perhaps the most significant reason to pick this up, however, is the inclusion of a whopping 96 page photo-essay . . .
that is remarkably researched and unfolds in a clear and concise manner. . . . Overall, a lovingly compiled
work that sheds much light on the era and a valuable introduction for those wanting to learn more.
– Jay Collins, Cadence, October 2005

British record-label owner Anthony Barnett, the Boswell of jazz violin, has done it again with a bonanza of rare performances
documenting various stylistic violin players through the 1940s into the Õ50s, as bebop became the center of jazz creativity.
I Like Be I Like Bop is an absolute must-have for all serious jazz fans. . . . accompanied by an authoritative
96-page essay and photo collection . . . jam-packed with information about this fascinating period.
– Stacy Phillips, Strings, November 2005

. . . a fascinating, and at times fascinatingly obscure, collection . . . more than enough good stuff to rivet the
attention of any sceptic . . . these rare items (five previously unissued, the rest mostly unreissued in nearly 50 years)
throw a strong light on the value of the violin as a jazz instrument . . . compelling . . . much more to exclaim about . . .
– Brian Priestley, Jazzwise, November 2005

. . . intriguing rarities . . . matchless survey of how the violin was used imaginatively
in a variety of jazz contexts during the decade and a half following World War II.
– Bob Weir, Jazz Journal, January 2006

Two CDs crammed full of great music . . . an astounding package of jazz violin recordings and a historical essay . . .
Produced by Anthony Barnett, of course, who has never passed a leaf without seeing what was on the other side.
It is a valuable piece of research as well as good listening, reading and looking.
– Russ Chase, IAJRC Journal, winter 2006

. . . excellent, studio-recorded sound. . . . The music is all first class, as are the transfers. The set also includes
extensive biographies of the violinists represented here, making this a well-recommended collection.
– Russ Shore, VJMÕs Jazz and Blues Mart, summer 2006

. . . illuminates one of the most vexing questions in the history of jazz strings, the disappearance of jazz violin during the Bebop era. . . .
Was it because the violin could not be heard in the context of the horn combo or because the vibratoless tone and chromatic lines of the bebop style
was not suited for the violin? BarnettÕs meticulously researched essay and recordings answer these questions with a resounding ÒnoÓ. . . .
Yet, not until the 60s with Stuff Smith passing the ÒmantleÓ to bebop violinist Jean-Luc Ponty at the Violin Summit concert in Basel did it appear
the violin had caught up with contemporary jazz in the mind of the average jazz listener. But, as this splendid collection demonstrates, the
violin did not disappear from the jazz scene during the preceding twenty years. This makes its delayed public acceptance as a contemporary
jazz instrument even more of a mystery. Reading the essay while listening to the corresponding tracks is eye-opening and inspiring.
– Martin Norgaard, American String Teacher, August 2006

. . . a fascinating account of the history of the violin as it progresses from late swing to bop and beyond.
– Vincent Pelote, ARSC Journal, spring 2007



ABCD1-014 RAY NANCE
When WeÕre Alone
COMPLETE 1940–1949 NON-DUCAL VIOLIN RECORDINGS
FEATURING BEN WEBSTER CLARINET TRANSCRIPTIONS

Including unreleased only known clarinet solo home recordings by Ben Webster with Fred Guy and Sonny Greer plus
Jimmie Blanton on three and other sessions with Ray Nance on violin and some trumpet away from Duke Ellington
incl. Horace Henderson, Eddie Heywood, Earl Hines, Ivory Joe Hunter, etc


. . . a fabulous discovery . . . a welcome addition to the very short list of albums issued under the name of Nance.
. . . the gem is the informal (and previously unknown) 1941 session featuring Nance and Webster . . . For
historical significance, this could be as important as the hotel-room recording of Parker and Gillespie together.
– Brian Priestley, combining Jazzwise, August 2005 and Blue Light, autumn 2005

BenÕs clarinet playing is a revelation. He really blows, getting a sound like no one else and
executing lines that often donÕt recall his tenor playing at all. The notes . . . are invaluable.
– Duck Baker, Coda, September/October 2005

. . . what a rare find! . . . essential listening for any fan of Ellingtonia or Nance and sure to be one of the reissues of the year.
– Jay Collins, Cadence, October 2005

The CD of the summer . . . contains previously unissued home recordings . . . and they have very good sound
– Richard Ehrenzeller, The Duke Ellington Society Newsletter, September 2005

Quite sensational . . . ItÕs a little like lifting the veil on something private and sacred: it might just
have been a way for the musicians to amuse themselves, but itÕs more likely to have been a rehearsal of sorts
for a gig or perhaps a recording session that never materialized. Webster is totally recognizable on clarinet . . .
The recording quality is surprisingly good, though itÕs hard to discern BlantonÕs bass notes.
Be that as it may, this is music of sparkling vitality, where NanceÕs great qualities are excellently showcased.
– Niels Lyngberg [trans. NGA, AB], Orkester Journalen, Stockholm, October 2005

. . . top-notch mid-tempo swing . . . packed with rarities.
– Ben Watson, Hi-Fi News, December 2005

The AB Fable imprint specializes in jazz violin rarities, but this release should appeal to a wider audience. Best known for his
trumpet work with Duke Ellington . . . Nance was also a significant violin stylist. The eye-opener here is a 1941 session with
Ben Webster on clarinet, conjuring a sound like no one else and executing lines that often don't recall his tenor playing at all.
– Duck Baker, East Bay Express, Best Records of 2005

It is the discovery and first issue of the [Webster–Nance] session that makes this album absolutely essential.
– Bob Weir, Jazz Journal, January 2006

This [Webster–Nance] is industrial-strength-never-before released stuff!
How does Ben sound on clarinet? Just like you hoped he would. . . . Everybody should have this one.
– Russ Chase, IAJRC Journal, winter 2006

. . . a Òmust haveÓ disc for any serious jazz fan
– Vincent Pelote, ARSC Journal, spring 2007



ABCD1-015 STUFF SMITH
That Naughty Waltz
COMPLETE 1937–1942 TENOR SAX SEPTETS FEATURING
1942 FATS WALLER ALUMNI AND 1937 TEDDY WILSON ORCHESTRA

All the commercial releases and unreleased airchecks known to us of the period by Stuff Smith Septets with tenor sax
including his leadership of Fats Waller alumni Herman Autr(e)y, Ted McCord, Al Casey, Sammy Benskin, Al Hall, Slick Jones in 1942
while Waller was touring as a soloist; lays to rest the ubiquitous string-along-theory error that Smith led the band in 1943 after Waller had died
plus Helen Ward with a 1937 Teddy Wilson Septet Featuring Stuff Smith with Jonah Jones, Ben Webster, Lawrence Lucie, John Kirby, Cozy Cole
plus a bonus all-star jam session aircheck by Karl George, Stuff Smith, Lionel Hampton, Teddy Wilson, Vernon Alley


The verve and intensity of this group is apparent from the first . . . they donÕt get more exciting than this . . . beautifully constructed choruses . . .
The leader, along with Joe Venuti, probably displayed the most intuitive jazz sense of all pre-war jazz violinists.
– Russ Shore, VJMÕs Jazz and Blues Mart, summer 2006

. . . rare material that nobody else but Anthony Barnett could issue . . .
because they haven't got the material, the patience or the will power . . . immense talent.
– Frank Rutter, Coda, August 2006

. . . Stuff SmithÕs solos are, as usual, amazing and the live, loose recording situation apparently spurred him to contribute
some fabulous ostinato riffs that drove the groupÕs rhythm section as hard as any great drummer could. Here is a chance
to partake in an advanced course in swing rhythm for violin and mighty far it is from a conservatory conception of the role of a violin.
– Stacy Phillips, Fiddler Magazine, Fall 2006

. . . amazing . . . This disc is full of marvels and is beautifully put together . . . notes are meticulous and intriguing . . . several rare pictures . . .
– Michael Steinman, Cadence, November 2006

AB Fable is a label dedicated to the arcane world of jazz violin, which has for some years been producing rare and previously
unavailable recordings, mostly of swing-era masters. One might say that Stuff Smith was the star attraction of the label.
Only a handful of soloists could equal Smith when it came to hard swinging, and he proves it repeatedly on That Naughty Waltz.
This collection contains some music thatÕs interesting mostly for historical reasons but much more thatÕs
outright exciting—and the sound quality of these old broadcasts is generally quite good. Featured artists include
Ben Webster, Herman Autrey, Jonah Jones and Teddy Wilson. Guitar fans should note that the excellent Al Casey
solos are his earliest on record, actually predating the time when Casey told Stanley Dance he began playing leads.
– Duck Baker, Jazz Times, December 2006

The Waller sidemen sides are notable for SmithÕs raucous solos and for some of the longest Al Casey electric guitar solos ever captured . . .
– George Kanzler, All About Jazz, January 2007

Jazz violin playing does not come any better . . . fact-filled and informative notes . . .
– Bob Weir, Jazz Journal, February 2007

. . . another essential CD . . .
– Vincent Pelote, ARSC Journal, spring 2007



ABCD1-016 REX STEWART AND STUFF SMITH
Summertime
THE 1963 ST-ONGE LA DUETS AND NARRATION

Previously unreleased informal private session recorded by Roger St Onge in Los Angeles in which
Stuff Smith and Rex Stewart talk about their early days in jazz and play the most beautiful duets, solos and vocals
plus a solo performance of Clair de lune by Smith and bonus band sessions with Smith and Stewart


read Will FriedwaldÕs review online Fiddling with Convention in The New York Sun, 16 January 2007

. . . a joy from start to finish: recorded at a private home, a group of men and women lounge about on a summer day.
Remarkably, violin and trumpet participate fully in the lighthearted conversation, creating a seamless dialogue between
human and musical voices. To hear two instruments with such distinct timbres blend this way is amazing in itself.
Trumpet and violin trade melody and comping duties. Stuff sets up the changes with short rhythmic statements in
double stops, or comps pizzicato as Rex solos. As the violin plays the melody, someone casually hums along in unison.
Classic musician humor, ending in gales of laughter, punctuates the session. Meticulously produced with artistry
and love, . . . capture[s] the essence of the moment as well as the music. . . . another masterful restoration.
. . . a worthy addition to [the] Violin Improvisation Studies series, and a service to the music community.
– Gayle Dixon, International Association for Jazz Education Strings Yahoo Group, May 2006

. . . marvellous . . . absolutely brilliant . . . youÕre never going to find this music anywhere else or the historical reminiscences.
– Frank Rutter, Coda, August 2006

. . . another piece of wondrous achaeology . . . remarkable . . . impossible to duplicate. . . . What might make some listeners hesitant
is that on this summer 1963 tape there is more conversation than music, but I am happy to hear Rex and Stuff talk about almost
anything—such high-level eavesdropping is certainly not easy to come by . . . Time travel of a most remarkable sort, indeed.
– Michael Steinman, Cadence, November 2006

. . . akin to eavesdropping on two swing era icons at a party. . . . some of the stories the two
tell are fascinating and the few actual duets are extraordinary, intimate musical dialogues . . .
– George Kanzler, All About Jazz, December 2006

Though these sessions date from long after the protagonistsÕ glory days, one canÕt describe the music as a trip
down memory lane. Like Red Allen, Stewart developed an almost avant-garde approach to improvisation in his later years,
extending his vocabulary of growls, smears and moans to extremes that Lester Bowie would have been proud of. For his part, Smith
was always a maverick who always loved to coax unorthodox sounds from his ax. It must be noted that more conversation than
music was recorded at the party, and while itÕs fun to hear Smith and Stewart reminisce, itÕs not necessarily something to return to.
A whole disc of spectacular duos like ÒSummertimeÓ and ÒRoyal Garden BluesÓ would make this the record of the year.
As it stands, itÕs still a significant addition to both musiciansÕ catalogues.
– Duck Baker, Jazz Times, December 2006

Everyone interested in jazz history or even just in jazz musiciansÕ humour should find this release as delightful and enlightening as I did.
– Bob Weir, Jazz Journal, February 2007



*


The collection is an absolute Òmust have.Ó . . . Thank you AB Fable, for your work in delineating this paradigm and bringing
this music to a broader audience. I look forward to future releases, and encourage everyone to snap up the copies still available . . .
– Gayle Dixon, International Association for Jazz Education Strings Yahoo Group, August 2005

. . . rarities, surprises, curiosities and pure gold. One wonders, what else has Barnett up his sleeve?
There can hardly be many so at home among the niches and nooks and crannies of jazz violin playing.
– Thorbj¿rn Sj¿gren [trans. AB], Jazz Special, Copenhagen, August/September 2005


. . . most folks are likely oblivious to the vast array of Jazz violin practitioners through the years, time seems to have forgotten
a majority of them. Anthony Barnett, head of the AB Fable label, seeks via his Violin Improvisation Studies series not only to
preserve these great works of the past, but also to spread the word about this music that otherwise may be forgotten by history.
As for the four new sets considered here, they are chock full of many highlights, rarities, etc., with most of the cuts on CD
for the first time stemming from unreleased live broadcasts, private recordings, and demos and other obscure sources.
– Jay Collins, Cadence, October 2005


Anthony Barnett has already done more than anyone to promote understanding and appreciation of the jazz violin . . .
He has now added magnificently to this previously little known treasure trove . . . meticulously documented . . .
. . . deserves wide support for his enterprise in making this mostly otherwise unobtainable material available.
– Bob Weir, Jazz Journal, January 2006


Anthony BarnettÕs AB Fable label is a researcherÕs dream
– Peter Vacher, Jazz UK, January/February 2007


In February 2006 Matthew Lavoie at Voice of America radio devoted two programs to AB Fable CDs

Matt GlaserÕs April 2003 feature review of AB Fable CDs in Strings Magazine can be read in full at
www.stringsmagazine.com/issues/Strings109/reviews.htm

Ken DrydenÕs online All Music Guide reviews of AB Fable CDs can be read at
Ray Nance | Ray Perry | Stuff Smith & Robert Crum | Stuff Smith 1944–1946
Ginger Smock | Eddie South | I Like Be I Like Bop | Bownus 2005: Almost Like Being in Bop

Very rarely do I get new recordings that radically alter my perception of artists with whom I have been familiar for many years. Well,
last week I received the first instalment of Anthony BarnettÕs new CD series: four CDs with Stuff Smith and one with Ray Perry
and they did just that. . . . They are highly recommendable.
– Martin Norgaard, International Association for Jazz Education Strings Yahoo Group, December 2002

Heaven sent heritage . . . When jazz archeologists dig deep enough they find pure gold
– J. R. Keith Keller [trans. AB], Jazz Special, Copenhagen, April/Maj 2003

The always excellent work of Anthony Barnett is readily apparent at every turn of these releases
and itÕs hoped that more CDs will be issued on this label
– Russ Chase, IAJRC Journal, spring 2003

Often reissues from past eras emulate the style of the period, evoking the cliches used by heritage exhibitions or theme restaurants.
Here, recordings and photographs are presented like treasures in a collectorÕs cabinet, in elegant starkness.
You must study each trace, appreciate every mark.
– Ben Watson, The Wire, June 2003

The bulk of the lacquers were transferred by Frank BŸchmann-M¿ller, who did an exemplary job. . . . marvellous CDs
– Vincent Pelote, ARSC Journal, Fall 2004 re 2002 releases



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