Thursday, June 01, 2006

Big Banding, part 9

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.

"Andy Kirk & His Clouds of Joy Jukebox Hits 1936-49," Acrobat Music. You want it because Kirk's band was a bebop incubator. Charlie Parker, Fats Navarro and Howard McGhee passed through, not to mention Don Byas, Jimmy Forrest, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and Hank Jones. Mary Lou Williams was the chief arranger until 1942. Also of interest: singer Pha Terrell, a big influence on Nat King Cole. I'm partial to guitarist Floyd Smith, who's every bit of Les Paul on "Floyd's Guitar Blues." Sounds dated in places, but the musicianship is always good. "I Know" makes me think of The Drifters, which is OK by me.

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 Earl Hines.

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