Jimmy Mundy was a valuable arranger during the swing era, contributing important charts to many big bands, particularly those of Earl Hines, Benny Goodman, and Count Basie. He had a short-lived orchestra of his own in 1939, but it did not make much of an impression. This CD has all of the sessions that Mundy led during the period. He is heard on two numbers with a septet that is mostly taken from Earl Hines' 1937 band, including trumpeter Walter Fuller on vocals, trombonist Trummy Young, guest drummer Chick Webb, and Mundy himself on tenor. His four selections with his 1939 orchestra are here (clarinetist Jimmy Hamilton, pianist Bill Doggett, and drummer Shadow Wilson are the only future names in the band), plus selections from three other ensembles from 1945-1947. Four numbers feature a novelty vocal group called the Ginger Snaps, one ensemble has trumpeter Ray Linn and Lucky Thompson on tenor, and four V-discs feature an all-star Los Angeles band with trumpeter Clyde Hurley, altoist Willie Smith, and Thompson. This formerly rare music should please swing fans.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow