Although they were the hottest act in their heyday in the thirties, nobody bothers much with the Boswell Sisters anymore. Most people are familiar with their particular style of jazz vocalstight-knit harmonies and group vocal gymnasticsthrough their imitators, like the Andrews Sisters. But the Boswell Sisters were much more than that. Consider the fact that Ella Fitzgerald patterned her vocal style on Connie Boswell and you have a very good reason to give a listen.
Nothing Was Sweeter collects some of the greatest Boswell sides, which is a welcome feat since there aren't a whole lot out there. Here you'll find early jazz greats like Johnny Lang, Joe Venuti, and Bunny Berigan trading riffs with the great vocal trio.
At first, the music may sound dated, just like many of the records from this era. But masterpieces like "Shout Sister Shout display a crack vocal unit that was up to something special. The sisters could swing like mad and Connie, who took the leads, was capable of belting out soulful renditions of even the most insignificant of pop tunes.
Perhaps only sisters are capable of the symbiosis captured here: impossibly close vocal harmonies that feature swells and sweeps of an almost telepathic nature. It's a treat to hear them tackle new (at the time) tunes like "It Don't Mean A Thing and "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea with aplomb. Stints with the Dorsey Brothers helped them gain notoriety and put them in front of a crack orchestra to truly display their gifts.
Nothing Was Sweeter belongs in any collection of vocal jazz. Though their style of music has fallen out of favor, their accomplishments deserve to live on.
Track Listing: We're On The Highway To Heaven; That's What I Like About You; Heebie Jeebies; When I Take My Suger To Tea; Shout Sister Shout; I Found A Million Dollar Baby; Sing A Little Jingle; It's You; It's The Girl; I Can't Write the Words; I Concentrate On You; Nothing Is Sweeter Than You; Put That Sun Back In the Sky; Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea; If It Ain't Love; Got the South in My Soul; Doggone I've Done It; We Just Couldn't Say Goodbye; It Don't Mean A Thing; Crazy People; Mood Indigo; That's How Rhythm Was Born; Coffee In the Morning; The Object of My Affection; Dinah.
Personnel: The Boswell Sisters: vocals; various others.
I love jazz because it swings.
I was first exposed to jazz in Houston.
I met Joe LoCascio and Bob Henschen.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino.
The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
My advice to new listeners is to relax on 2 and 4 beats.