George Wettling (November 28, 1907 – June 6, 1968) was an American jazz drummer.He was one of the young white Chicagoans who fell in love with jazz as a result of hearing King Oliver's band (with Louis Armstrong on second cornet) at the Lincoln Gardens in Chicago in the early 1920s. Oliver's drummer, Baby Dodds, made a particular and lasting impression upon Wettling.Wettling went on to work with the big bands of Artie Shaw, Bunny Berigan, Red Norvo, Paul Whiteman, and even Harpo Marx: but he was at his best on (and will be best remembered for) his work in small 'hot' bands led by Eddie Condon, Muggsy Spanier, and himself. In these small bands, Wettling was able to demonstrate the arts of dynamics and responding to a particular soloist that he had learned from Baby Dodds. Wettling was a member of some of Condon's classic line-ups, which included, among others, Wild Bill Davison, Billy Butterfield, Edmond Hall, Peanuts Hucko, Pee Wee Russell, Cutty Cutshall, Gene Schroeder, Ralph Sutton, and Walter Page, and in 1957 toured Britain with a Condon band including Davison, Cutshall, and Schroeder. Towards the end of his life, Wettling (like his friend the clarinetist Pee Wee Russell), took up painting, and was much influenced by the American cubist Stuart Davis. He has been quoted as remarking that "jazz drumming and abstract painting seemed different from him only from the point of view of craftsmanship: in both fields he felt rhythm to be decisive".
This CD consists of live radio broadcasts from the Stuyvesant Casino in New York City, which was a known hot-spot for Dixieland bands at the time of these 1952 recordings. While the line-up of musicians varies slightly on the five different dates included here, it consists largely of the best Dixieland and swing musicians on the scene at that time. The musical repertoire, therefore, is classical Dixieland blended with a few Rogers & Hart and Gershwin favourites. Although drummer George Wettling is designated as leader, cornetists Jimmy MvPartland and tenor saxophonist Bud Freeman are equally prominent on this album. Here you have hot, exuberant Dixieland jazz at its best, performed live before an enthusiastic crowd.