Erich Kunzel

Big Band Hit Parade

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This CD is a bit of an oddity but largely a success. A group of all-star jazzmen (trumpeter Doc Severinsen, trombonist Buddy Morrow, clarinetist Eddie Daniels, baritonist Gerry Mulligan, pianist Dave Brubeck, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Shaughnessy) along with the great singer Cab Calloway team up with Erich Kunzel's Cincinnati Pops Big Band Orchestra to perform hits of the swing era; never mind that only Calloway was from that period. The arrangements (mostly by Jeff Tyzik and Tommy Newsom) for the string orchestra are fortunately not recreations of the past but fresh and sometimes surprising reworkings of such songs as "One O'Clock Jump," "You Made Me Love You," "In the Mood" and "Artistry in Rhythm." Calloway gets to revisit "St. James Infirmary" and the episodic almost suite-like version of "When the Saints Go Marching In" is a near-classic.

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