Blows 'n' Rhythm: The Hottest Bows in Rhythm 'n' Blues & Blues V Rhythm, Rock 'n' Roll & Fiddle Curiosities, 1939-1959. (AB Fable 019/20; abar.net)
Professor Visits Harlem, or Swingin' till the Girls Come Home, an Anthology of Swing Strings, 1930S-1950S. (AB Fable 018; abar.net)
Eddie South: Dark Angel Album Sets, 19401946. (AB Fable 021; abar.net)
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 28 full-length cuts. There's no question about getting your money's worth.
Blows 'n' 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. It's a mind-blowing trip with such recognizable jazz fiddlers as Stuff Smith, Stephane Grappelli, Sugarcane Harris, Papa John Creach, and Claude Williams. But there are lots of rarities and pleasant surprises for any violinist looking for non-gut-bucket-style blues on the violin. Kudos to …