[Dixielandjazz] Proper Records - Spike Jones

Stan Brager sbrager at socal.rr.com
Sat Dec 11 12:31:39 PST 2004

I've just purchased a bargain from the used CD place where I get most of my
CD's. It was Spike Jones and his City Slickers on the Proper label. The
collection spans the period from the first recordings of the City Slickers
in the early 40's through some of those made in the 1950's. It includes some
transcription recordings, V-discs, "in concert" and radio broadcasts as well
as many of their RCA studio stuff on 4 CD's.

I've always enjoyed listening to the band and these recordings brought back
many memories as well as laughs. However, some of the tracks sound somewhat
muffled compared to the 78's I remember and compared to RCA single CD
collection of Spike Jones. The Proper label says that the recordings were
digitally remastered. Yet, the tuba comes off as a dull thump instead of the
rich tones I'm used to. Also, the high end seems to lack clarity when I
compare this Proper box to other recordings by other bands from the same
period and on RCA as well.

The liner notes were informative but with a lot of grammatical and spelling
errors. The dates of each of the cuts were duly noted along with the
composers of the music. The set also lacked a listing of personnel on each
of the tracks which is important to me.

Could my ears be playing tricks on me? Or is this indicative of the general
quality of the Proper label?

Don Ingle whose father "Red" Ingle was one of the original members of the
City Slickers, in a post from a few years ago, pointed to the Spike Jones
collection on the Bear Family label. How does that compare to the Proper


Stan Brager

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