Monday, October 31, 2005

Big Banding, part 5

Here's another in my hunt for good one-disk samplers covering a selection of classic big bands from the '20s, '30s and '40s with decent sound, representative material and a reasonable price.

"Benny Goodman and His Orchestra: Sing, Sing, Sing," Bluebird. You want it for the call-and-response soloing by ace musicians that goes on amid the stellar group play culled from 1935-38. A lot of people don't think about what a great improviser Benny Goodman was on the clarinet with, frequently, a boppish or post-bop sound well before it became the norm. Check out his two solo blasts on "Goody Goody." I think it's cool when he uses his flourishes to, in essence, comp the band like it was a single soloist. Great guitar work by George Van Eps on "Bugle Call Rag" and don't miss Gene Krupa's drumming on "Sing, Sing, Sing."

Follow the links to my suggestions for disks featuring the bands of Jay McShann or Glenn Miller or Claude Thornhill or Chick Webb or Fletcher Henderson or Billy Eckstine or Earl Hines or Andy Kirk.

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