Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Big Banding, part 8

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.

"Earl Hines The Early Years: 1923-1942.” In this Jazz Legends compilation of Earl "Fatha" Hines-led big band recordings you will find some great trumpet soloing on "Congaine" and a great trumpeter on "Skip the Gutter," Louis Armstrong. Meanwhile, stride-rooted Fatha gets his both solo, on "Blues in Thirds" for one, and with the band, as on "Pianology," and shows why he was probably a better pianist than Basie and Ellington and in a league with Fats Waller. But you want it because for every Armstrong, Skeeter Best and Billy Eckstine on the cuts, there are several good musicians you've never heard of who play with aplomb in Hines' wake as on "Madhouse" and "Bubbling Over," which will surely get your feet moving. "Boogie Woogie on St. Louis Blues" is a classic that does just what the title implies and "Jelly, Jelly" is a killer blues big band style. I like the later stuff on the disk better, but it's all good.

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

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