Dixieland Heaven

Lee Castle

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Dixieland Heaven Review

by Scott Yanow

Trumpeter Lee Castle spent much of his career as "the third Dorsey." He was a member of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and the Dorsey Brothers' 1950s band, in addition to working with Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, and Glenn Miller. After Jimmy Dorsey's death in 1957, Castle became the Jimmy Dorsey ghost band's leader for decades, playing nostalgia swing. This LP, therefore, is quite unusual in his discography, for it is a set of Dixieland that actually lets Castle cut loose a bit. Some of the tunes (including "Stars and Stripes Forever," "Alabama Blues," "Fair Jennie's Lament," and "Dixieland Mambo") have unusual arrangements and, other than the "Saints," the set avoids warhorses. In addition to Castle (who recalls Bobby Hackett a little), the freewheeling program features trombonist Lou McGarity and either Peanuts Hucko or Bob Wilber on clarinet in the front line. Since there is little chance it will ever get reissued on CD, collectors should pick up this rare LP whenever they can.

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