Various Artists

A Jumpin' Jubilee: The Jam Sessions, 1945-1946

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Numerous commercial releases of World War II era transcriptions exist, but the sound restoration by John R.T. Davies on these postwar Jubilee broadcasts (recorded for broadcast to military personnel) makes them stand head and shoulders above most of them. Comic Ernie "Bubbles" Whitman serves as MC to introduce individual segments. "Sonny Boy" is played for laughs with Leo Watson's corny vocal and the oddball jive introductions of the soloists (tenor saxophonist Corky Corcoran is introduced as "Coco") by Slim Gaillard (who isn't a part of the big band). Peggy Lee joins the ensemble to sing "You Was Right, Baby," while Bobby Hackett and Willie Smith shine in a swinging take of "September in the Rain." The second program features a rare opportunity to hear Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young together, though these recordings have appeared on several earlier releases. In addition to their joint appearances on "I Got Rhythm" and "Oh, Lady Be Good," each of them has a solo feature, with Hawkins turning to his old dependable hit "Body and Soul" and Young offering an original, "D.B. Blues." The third show brings Buck Clayton to the forefront for "My Old Flame," with Helen Humes singing a couple of numbers, including her raucous original "Unlucky Woman." A lengthy "Sweet Georgia Brown," though from a different Jubilee program than the earlier one in the series featuring Hawkins and Young, may have been transcribed at the same session, since the cast is identical and the mixing of tracks from different sessions was frequently done to add variety or balance to the individual programs. The final three tracks are a treat, with Charlie Parker, Benny Carter, and Willie Smith each individually featured on a different standard with a rhythm section consisting of the Nat King Cole Trio plus drummer Buddy Rich. Highly recommended.

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