Various Artists

Tar Heel Jazz

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This CD from the collector's label IAJRC contains the complete output of three obscure bands plus seven of the ten sides cut by The Hod Williams Orchestra. All of these sessions were recorded in the same building in Charlotte, NC, during 1936-37 and feature territory bands with their own strong and weak qualities. Jimmie Gunn's band is excellent on its three instrumentals but plagued by bad vocalists on the other three tracks. The Frankie And Johnny orchestra is more consistent and often often quite hot. The Hod Williams Orchestra took its inspiration (and to an extent its arrangememts) from the sophisticated swing style of The Hudson-DeLange Orchestra while the recordings of The Frankie Reynolds Orchestra are swinging if not particulalry distinctive. 1930s collectors should consider this set of rare material to be essential.

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