Robin Weathersbee is one heck of a busy bloke, and one who takes multi-tasking to a level that would exhaust most of us to even think about.
For starters, he's the man behind one of the UK's best attended-and-appreciated Rock'n'Roll Weekenders, the annual extravaganza that is Rhythm Riot". He and his partner Colette are also the proprietors of, and dance instructors at, Maddy's - "The Jivin'est Jivin' School" not only in London, but probably also in the rest of the civilised world as we know it. "
On top of this, Robin and Colette co-ordinate and host the annual Jitterbug Ball" and run a popular and unique themed show "The GI Jitterbugs". And if all this wasn't already enough to contend with, the couple are also responsible for the much loved, long-running monthly function "Jiving Jamboree" at which Robin also presses his record collection into service in the guise of the "Bakelite Boogie Record Hop".
Somewhere amid all this activity, he also finds time to sit down and compile a CD for Ace to tie in specifically with the Jamboree's activities. (He's also prepared an exciting set to coincide with this November's "Rhythm Riot", about which more soon!) We're always glad when he does, because he always comes up with a corker. And the third in our series is every bit the equal of its two best-selling predecessors.
Unlike the previous volumes, the repertoire on this edition of JJ is drawn exclusively from one group of labels - the mighty King/Federal/De Luxe out of Cincinnati, Ohio. It wouldn't be fair on Robin to imply that, in restricting his compilation activity to only these labels, he has made his job easier this time around. Indeed, it must have been hard to whittle his wish list down to just 24 tracks. (There's so much jumpin', jivin' stuff on KFD that he probably could have filled a decent-sized boxed set with King sides alone, and still have had enough left over for a second one!). But it certainly will have made his task all the more pleasurable to have such a wealth of impossibly great music to select a final two dozen tracks from!
As you'd expect from previous editions of JJ, Vol 3 starts off as it means to continue, at a pace that never flags for even one moment of its hour-and-a-bit running time. Robin has judiciously chosen material to represent almost every facet of what King boss Syd Nathan released during the label's first decade (with the exception, perhaps, of out-and-out rockabilly, which is well-represented on other Ace/King CDs anyway).Thus while you're dancing you'll also be enjoying the musical delights of big band shouters like H-Bomb Ferguson, Wynonie Harris and Jimmy Rushing-.-glorious guitar workouts from the legendary Jimmy "Chank" Nolen and Johnny Otis' man Pete Lewis-.-undisputed queens of 50s R&B such as Little Esther, Lula Reed and Annisteen Allen-.-a great Little Richard homage courtesy of Ba Ba Thomas-.-top notch hillbilly swing from Zeb Turner and Bob Newman-.-quintessential vocal group workouts by the Dominoes, Royals and a pre-fame Platters and plenty more besides...
Although Robin's put this together with the dancefloor uppermost in mind, he's also taken into account the all-around desirability of the King catalogue in collector circles. It's therefore worth mentioning that he's judiciously selected a fair number of magnificent masters that are making their CD debut in this package.
The bottom line on this one is that, even if you have the proverbial two left feet and want to sit the dancing out, you'll find King Jiving Jamboree's also a cracking good listen in addition to being a self-contained party!
...May we have this dance?
By Tony Rounce"