Gene Krupa's recordings for a four-month period are traced on this CD in the Classics "complete" series. The first eight formerly rare selections feature the Gene Krupa Trio with the extroverted (and sometimes too enthusiastic) tenor saxophonist Charlie Ventura and pianist George Walters; three of the numbers were originally V-discs, three others were not released until the LP era, and the two remaining songs have never been out before. In addition, there are 15 numbers from the Gene Krupa Big Band. The returning Anita O'Day (who gave Krupa new hits in "Opus No. 1," "Boogie Blues," and "Chickery Chick") and ballad singer Buddy Stewart are on all but "It's Up to You" and "Lover." Among the soloists are trumpeter Don Fagerquist and Ventura. The 1945 Gene Krupa Orchestra did not catch on to the level of the 1941-1942 edition, but it definitely had its moments.
by Scott Yanow