Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Carl Kress & Dick McDonough Guitar Duets Revisited

The Carl Kress - Dick McDonough duo (c.1936)
The classic guitar duet recordings   featuring Carl Kress and Dick McDonough have for a long time belonged to my favorite jazz guitar recordings from the 1930s. The duo recorded four sides for Brunswick 1934 and 1937 issued on Br 6917 and Br 7885. The audio has been uploaded at YouTube and is inserted below to have these masterpieces collected here.
Brunswick 6917, Danzon
The shown label of Danzon was the first recorded tune by the duo January 31, 1934, and the audio of this semi-classical piece of music is inserted below

The flip side of Br 6917 was a composition by Dick McDonough entitled Stage Fright, also recorded January 31, 1934
Brunswick 6917, Stage Fright

Original sheet music
In 1936 the Kress - McDonough duo recorded a short version of I've Got A Feeling You're Fooling for an Oldsmobile ad which is seldom heard. The audio of this has also been uploaded at YouTube

On February 16, 1937 the duo recorded two more sides for Brunswick in New York, the first featured was Chicken A la Swing, a co-work composition by the duo (-two takes exist, the best known has been uploaded at YouTube and is inserted below)
Brunswick 7885, Chicken A-La-Swing

Original poster ad
The flip side of Br 7885 featured the duo's version of Irving Berlin's Heat Wave
Brunswick 7885, Heat Wave

The four sides recorded for Brunswick were the only commercially released sides by the duo, however, Kress and McDonough also recorded some radio transcriptions in an all stars orchestra setting 1937 since re-issued commercially at the shown LP below
The Guitar Genius Of Dick McDonough & Carl Kress In The Thirties, JA-32
The tradition of the classic guitar duo work by Kress & McDonough has been continued by Marty Grosz and Bucky Pizzarelli a.o., and I was thrilled to find a contemporary, young Japanese duo at YouTube, who has uploaded a magnificent version of Chicken A La Swing, inserted here to end this small presentation of classic jazz guitar duet music.


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