Chip Deffaa
July 30, 1999 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Impetuous, audacious, at times reckless, Jabbo Smith (1908-91) was one of the most individualistic and thrilling of Jazz Age soloists. Just 20 years old when he recorded this two-CD collection’s hottest performances (such as the Dionysian ”Decatur Street Tutti”) he was already a challenger to reigning trumpet king Louis Armstrong. He didn’t possess Armstong’s lyricism and he peaked early, but Smith influenced greats like Roy Eldridge. This set, gathering most of Smith’s 1920s output, is needlessly padded with some non-Smith sides. Both: A-

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