Jimmie Lunceford & His Orchestra

Jazz Heritage: Rhythm Is Our Business (1934-1935)

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The first of six LPs released by MCA in the early '80s in their Jazz Heritage series that reissued highlights from Jimmie Lunceford's career is the strongest overall. Sticking to the 1934-1935 period, such memorable numbers as "Dream of You," "Stomp It Off," "Rhythm Is Our Business," "Sleepy Time Gal" (with its brilliant sax section chorus), and Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo" and "Black and Tan Fantasy" are among the highlights. The arrangements of Willie Smith, Ed Wilcox, Eddie Durham, and particularly Sy Oliver take precedence over the short solos, really showing off the band's consistently high musicianship. Fortunately all of this music has since been reissued on CD.