Jasmine presents 24 classic big-band swing performances recorded between June 12, 1936 and September 3, 1940 by Decca recording artists Bob Crosby & His Bobcats. Ace players include trumpeters Yank Lawson, Billy Butterfield and Sterling Bose; trombonists George Brunies, Floyd O'Brien and Ray Conniff; reedmen Hank D'Amico, Irving Fazola, Matty Matlock, Deane Kincaide and Eddie Miller; singing guitarist Nappy Lamare; bassist Bob Haggart, drummer Ray Bauduc and pianists Jess Stacy, Joe Sullivan and Bob Zurke. Someone went through this band's discography and filtered out all of the sweet pop tunes, resulting in one of the jazziest and best Bob Crosby compilations in existence. Not everything played here is Dixieland but with the emphasis upon traditional jazz, boogie woogie and solid swing, even Emile Waldteufel's "Skater's Waltz" and the Parisian pop tune "Vieni, Vieni" are transformed into jitterbugging material. The authentic New Orleans/Chicago styled selections are marvelously well done; high points are "Panama," "Sugar Foot Strut," "Royal Garden Blues," and Kid Ory's "Savoy Blues," taken at exactly the right tempo which in this case is slow and easy but with guts and gumption.
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