C-melody saxophonist Frankie Trumbauer left Paul Whiteman's Orchestra in 1937 after a notable ten-year association with Whiteman. Tram formed a big band that lasted for nearly two years, but they did not record any commercially released sides. He did head an orchestra from 1939-40 that made it onto records. The earlier big band fortunately did record a series of radio transcriptions, and 16 of its best are on this valuable collector's LP put out by the IAJRC. In addition to Trumbauer, the key soloists include trumpeter Manny Klein (in prime form), clarinetist Jimmy Oliver and pianist Charlie LaVere, who was responsible for many of the arrangements. With the exception of a vocal apiece by Trumbauer and Bill Shaw, the music is all instrumental, and there are many highlights, including "Stars and Stripes Forever," "Dippermouth Blues," "Portrait of a Pretzel," the speedy "Tempo Takes a Holiday," and "Big Butter and Egg Man." This album (which has not yet been reissued on CD) is well worth searching for by swing and classic jazz collectors.
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