Victor Aloysius Meyers was born in mid -1898 as the 15th of 16 children in Little Falls, Minnesota. Vic's father was County Treasurer for Morris County, Minnesota, a position he held for 30 years. When the family moved West to Oregon in the mid-'teens, Vic started on a musical career. He could play violin, but by the age of 18, he was a drummer in a three piece group that played each summer at Seaside, an ocean resort. At 21, in 1919 he got a two year contract to play with a full size band in the Rose Room in Seattle’s Hotel Butler, located at the corner of 2nd Avenue and James Street. Its construction started around 1900 and when it opened it "immediately became the jewel in the City’s crown. Its lavish Rose Room grill featured magnificent cuisine in an atmosphere of top recording orchestras, cut-glass chandeliers, thick imported carpets and sterling silver."
This edition presents, for the first time ever on CD, two of the best albums made by Pee Wee Russell in the late 50s. “Pee Wee Russell Plays” (1959), featuring the leader (who is also the composer of all the tunes) along with stars like Buck Clayton, Vic Dickenson and Bud Freeman. As a bonus, the complete album “Portrait of Pee Wee” (1958), selected as one of 100 best jazz albums of all time, and also featuring Vic Dickenson and Bud Freeman, plus the great trumpeter Ruby Braff.
Ostensibly a jam session with ABA head-solos-tail formatting, Hawkins proves again and again why his sound is not only the epitome of jazz, but forever timeless. Trumpeter Joe Thomas and trombonist Vic Dickenson are by no means showboats, and they cannot steal the spotlight from Bean. But Tommy Flanagan threatens to on occasion, as he asserts himself on solos with a fervor that goes beyond Hawkins. Bubbling under all this virtuosity, bassist Wendell Marshall and drummer Osie Johnson do their swinging thing with open ears and instruments always at the ready to fire.
Frank Black and the Catholics was the eponymous debut album from Frank Black and the Catholics. The backing group on this album performed on Black's previous album, The Cult of Ray, but the group name was first adopted on this release. The album was recorded live to two-track tape over the course of two days in 1997, but a protracted dispute with Black's label American Recordings, reportedly over the "raw" sound of the recordings, delayed its release for 18 months.