Glenn Miller

Best of the Big Bands: Evolution of a Band

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The majority of Glenn Miller's early recordings as a bandleader are included on this CD which is subtitled "Evolution of a Band." Miller heads a studio group (which includes trumpeter Bunny Berigan) on two numbers from 1935 (why weren't all four from that date included?) and on three complete sessions from 1937-38; if the liner notes are to be believed the final four performances are previously unissued alternate takes. All of the selections from 1937-38 are taken from a period when Miller was struggling to find his sound and, even by the time of "Dippermouth Blues" (from May 23, 1938), he had not found it yet. But although these recordings are not that distinctive, there are some good moments; the vocals by Kathleen Lane and Gail Reese are excellent.

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