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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby




Crotchet
Budgetprice

SWING

BANDSTAND KINGS


Various Artists - 1935-1944


Bluebird's Best 09026639672

 

 


1. Blue Lou
All-Star Band
2. One O'Clock Jump
Metronome All-Star Band
3. Truckin'
Fats Waller And His Rhythm
4. Harlem Air-Shaft
Duke Ellington And His Famous Orchestra
5. Pompton Turnpike
Charlie Barnet And His Orchestra
6. Opus #1
Tommy Dorsey And His Orchestra
7. All Of Me
Benny Carter And His Orchestra
8. Goodnight, My Love
Benny Goodman And His Orchestra
9. The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise
Frankie Newton And His Orchestra
10. One Sweet Letter From You
Lionel Hampton And His Orchestra
11. Jersey Bounce
Earl Hines And His Orchestra
12. Carioca
Artie Shaw And His Orchestra
13. Sing, Sing, Sing
Benny Goodman And His Orchestra
14. In The Mood
Glenn Miller And His Orchestra


This is a very well conceived compilation in that it features many of the finest musicians from this era, but it is not a catalogue of all the old chestnuts. Admittedly there are such favourites as "Sing, Sing, Sing, " "In The Mood " and " Opus One", but the vast majority of the tracks here are perhaps lesser known recordings by the various bands. It must be stated, from the outset, that the standard of the performances and material is easily equal to the more famous selections.

The cast of soloists to be found here can only be described as stellar, ranging from Coleman Hawkins on tenor saxophone to Buddy De Franco on clarinet. There are also some excellent moments from less familiar players - the sadly forgotten Eddie Miller on tenor ( a musician who could easily hold his own with his more renowned contemporaries ) Pete Brown, who somehow managed to make his alto sound like a tenor - paving the way for such later luminaries as Cannonball Adderley, and Frankie Newton on trumpet who was one of the keepers of the flame passed from Louis Armstrong and before him, King Oliver.

One outstanding name that crops up on three different selections in varying capacities is that of Benny Carter. He is the alto saxophone soloist with the Metronome All-Stars, the arranger and clarinet player with his own band and arranger, once again, on the Lionel Hampton piece. He was a musician who was ranked amongst the top three alto players , along with Johnny Hodges and Willie Smith , in this era. He was also a highly accomplished trumpet player, good enough to be featured soloist with the likes of Fats Waller. His clarinet playing is a revelation on this disc and surely there has never been a better arranger for the saxophone section as is amply illustrated on "All Of Me ". It is no wonder that he was referred to as "King Carter ".

Other highlights include Duke Ellington's evocative "Harlem Airshaft ", Earl Hines swinging rendition of " Jersey Bounce " and the typically brilliant small band performance from Fats Waller And His Rhythm. This disc is great fun - it also fills in a few gaps for the non - completist collector.


Dick Stafford



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