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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra: 1944-45 Broadcasts

Read "1944-45 Broadcasts" reviewed by Jack Bowers

LIonel Hampton, the first musician to establish the vibraphone as a viable component of Jazz instrumentation, was (with Red Norvo) one of its acknowledged monarchs when these air–check performances were recorded in 1944–45, mostly for the benefit of U.S. servicemen at home and abroad. Hamp was a product of the Swing Era and his bands always ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jimmie Lunceford and His Orchestra: 1943-45 Broadcasts

Read "1943-45 Broadcasts" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Somewhere between the enduring Swing Era “superstars” (Ellington, Basie, Miller, the Dorsey brothers, Harry James, Artie Shaw) and the scarcely remembered “regional bands” stood such enormously popular (and talented) but relatively short–lived “second tier” orchestras as those led by Fletcher Henderson, Don Redman, Chick Webb, Andy Kirk, Jay McShann, Jimmie Lunceford and others. Lunceford’s ensemble was ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Harry James and His Orchestra: 1942-43 Broadcasts with Helen Forrest

Read "1942-43 Broadcasts with Helen Forrest" reviewed by Jack Bowers

No list of the most popular dance bands of the ’40s would be complete without the name Harry James whose stylish trumpet and splendid orchestra were featured in a number of films of the period and performed not only on radio but to standing–room–only audiences in casinos and ballrooms from coast to coast. In the early ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The Gene Krupa Quartet: Live from the Inn Club, Chicago, IL, January 11, 1957

Read "Live from the Inn Club, Chicago, IL, January 11, 1957" reviewed by Jack Bowers

By January 1957, when this concert date was recorded at the Inn Club in Chicago, Gene Krupa’s salad days as a member of the Benny Goodman Orchestra and leader of his own big bands were behind him, but he remained a major figure on the Jazz scene, even though his flamboyant style of drumming, once considered ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Ted Weems and His Orchestra: More 1940 "Beat the Band" Shows

Read "More 1940 "Beat the Band" Shows" reviewed by Jack Bowers

While there may not be many people walking around today who even remember the Ted Weems Orchestra, there are a great number, I’d wager, who remember his male vocalist, a fellow named Perry Como, who passed away in May six days before his eighty–ninth birthday. Some may even recall the band’s other vocalist, Marva (later to ...

Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra: March / June 1940 Broadcasts to South America

Read "March / June 1940 Broadcasts to South America" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Tommy Dorsey’s orchestra, which had gone into a mild decline in the late ’30s, was by 1940 making a strong comeback owing largely to the addition of several key ingredients — star trumpeter Bunny Berigan, whose alcoholism hadn’t as yet subverted his playing; drummer Buddy Rich, late of the Artie Shaw orchestra; the consummate swing arranger, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Bobby Sherwood & His Orchestra: 1942-45 Live Broadcasts with Zoot Sims

Read "1942-45 Live Broadcasts with Zoot Sims" reviewed by Jack Bowers

When the first of these radio broadcasts by trumpeter / guitarist Bobby Sherwood’s orchestra was recorded in December 1942, tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims (featured on Gershwin’s “The Man I Love”) had recently celebrated his seventeenth birthday, which makes his solo on that number the more remarkable. Alas, by the time of the second air–check, in January ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The Woody Herman Orchestra / Ina Ray Hutton Orchestra / Bob Crosby's Bobcats: 1946 Broadcasts / 1943-44 Spotlight Band Broadcasts / 1937-40 Broadcasts

Read "1946 Broadcasts / 1943-44 Spotlight Band Broadcasts / 1937-40 Broadcasts" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Even though there are moments of pleasurable big–band swing in these reissues from 1937–46 by Woody Herman’s First Herd, singer Ina Ray Hutton’s (all–male) orchestra, and Bob Crosby and the Bobcats, they should be of greatest interest to avid record collectors and completists. While Soundcraft has done a respectable job of cleaning the original acetate (and ...