Boyd Raeburn

Fraternity Rush

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During 1945-1947, Boyd Raeburn led one of the most adventurous jazz big bands around. After the group failed (there was a final short-lived effort during 1948-1949), Raeburn was off records altogether until 1956. At that time he put together a new big band, one that included quite a few ringers in the three albums that it recorded during 1956-1957. Unlike with his earlier outfit, his new band mostly performed swing standards that were arranged in very safe and danceable charts. Fraternity Rush was the second of the three LPs and alternates between dance music and swinging charts; only "Tonsillectomy" hints at his earlier bands. The personnel includes (on various numbers) such notables as trumpeters Charlie Shavers and Buck Clayton, tenors Coleman Hawkins (who is featured on "If I Could Be With You") and Frankie Socolow, pianist Nat Pierce, and bassist Oscar Pettiford along with Raeburn's wife, singer Ginnie Powell. The music is decent if not essential and represents (along with the other two albums) the final recordings of Raeburn.

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