Gene Krupa

Drums Drums Drums

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This 20-song collection, evidently made up of radio airchecks that are effectively out of copyright overseas, makes a good companion to Sony's Gene Krupa hits and Anita O'Day/Roy Eldridge collections. It doesn't have "Let Me Off Uptown," but it does include O'Day's extraordinary "Boogie Blues," "Bolero at the Savoy," and "Massachusetts," and performances by scat-singing star Leo Watson. Further, Roy Eldridge is featured on at least half the cuts here in prominent solos, but the producers have also included tracks by the later Krupa line-ups, which included Charlie Ventura and Gerry Mulligan, working in leaner, more modern jazz surroundings. The sound quality is above average for the period, with minimal distortion and a clean, close sound. The drums, of course, are prominent (nowhere more so than on "Wire Brush Stomp"), but the solos by Eldridge and the other featured members of Krupa's various bands also come out loud and richly textured. Of the music itself, there's only one really weak link here, Krupa's much-too-fast treatment of the Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart waltz "Lover," and it is more than made up for by the presence of O'Day's singing on "That's What You Think." And it's all budget priced too.

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