Virginians

1922-1928

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During the swing era it was common for a big band leader to occasionally feature a combo out of his orchestra on special selections. The first time it was ever done on record was in 1922 when Paul Whiteman presented the Virginians, a nonet drawn from his big band. Led by clarinetist Ross Gorman and including cornetist Henry Busse, trombonist Sammy Lewis, and pianist Ferde Grofé in the personnel, the group played fine dance music, recording fairly regularly during 1922-1924. Few of its recordings have ever been reissued, so this collector's CD will be considered somewhat valuable to vintage jazz and dance band fans. In addition to 17 titles, including "Lonesome Mama Blues," "I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate," "Rose of the Rio Grande," and "Runnin' Wild," there are four selections from 1927-1928 by a completely different version of Ross Gorman's Virginians that was largely unrelated to Whiteman's band. The jazz content is not that high during much of the music overall, but the musicianship is high and the melodic ensembles are pleasing.

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