This compilation of tracks by Gene Krupa -- all of them as a bandleader -- between 1939 and 1946 offer a deep look at the man and his skill not only as a leader and a drummer, but as an arranger. From the swing era to the years just before bebop, Krupa led one of the hardest swinging bands in the country. These 24 sides are filled with intensity as the drummer regularly double- and even triple-times his bands, offering evidence of his great genius and his influence on latter day bandleaders like Buddy Rich. The version of "Tuxedo Junction" included here is one of the finest ever put to tape, as are "Calling Mr. Gillespie," "Leave Us Leap," and even those with singers like Anita O'Day, Buddy Stewart and Carolyn Grey. Given that this is a Vocalion pressing, the sound quality is excellent. Well worth the investment.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek