The Lucky Millinder Orchestra's best-known recordings are from 1941-42, making this Classics CD of great interest due to the many rarities and a lot of variety. First there are four V-discs from 1943 that showcase with Millinder (for the last time) the singing and guitar playing of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who does remakes of four of her hits (including "That's All" and "Rock Daniel"). "Savoy," from the same period, is highlighted by one of trumpeter Joe Guy's best-recorded solos, and "Shipyard Social Junction" was one of the band's final top-notch instrumentals. Of the four numbers from 1944, two songs have the recording debut of singer Wynonie Harris, and on "Hurry, Hurry," the legendary trumpeter Freddy Webster can be heard briefly. There are also two okay numbers from 1945, six from 1946 (including singer Annisteen Allen on "There's Good Blues Tonight" and some good spots for the tenor of Sam "The Man" Taylor) and four vocal cuts from the following year. Many of the very interesting sidemen actually have no real solo space (including tenors Lucky Thompson and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis), but most of the vocals are easy to take and the Millinder Orchestra was adjusting well to the rise of R&B. An interesting and often historic set.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow