This is an unusual Harry James reissue in that, after the first four selections (which are from July 31, 1942), the remainder of the disc consists of James' V-discs of 1942-1944. The Musicians Union's recording strike stopped all recording for at least 16 months and, in the case of James' label Columbia, nearly two-and-a-half years. The trumpeter's last studio date of 1942 resulted in the final of three Helen Forrest hits, "I've Heard That Song Before." His wartime band is heard on V-disc versions of such songs as "Two O'Clock Jump"; "Back Beat Boogie"; "Blue Lou"; "Charmaine" (which has particularly inventive writing for the string section); "I'll Walk Alone" (Kitty Kallen's first vocal with the band); and "I'm Beginning to See the Light," the latter cut a month before the commercially released hit version. This formerly rare material is taken from a period when Harry James led the most popular swing band in the world, and it will be of strong interest to swing fans.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow