Harry James

From Hollywood

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Although Harry James' Columbia studio recordings from the 1940s are mostly hard to find, there have been many CDs and LPs of his radio broadcasts from the period made available. This British LP features the James Orchestra when it still had a string section and was just beginning to feel a bit of influence from bebop. The trumpeter/leader sounds typically fiery and warm; there are plenty of spots for altoist Willie Smith (who sings "Who's Sorry Now"), and other soloists include trombonist Ziggy Elmer, valve trombonist Juan Tizol (on his "Keblah") and tenorman Corky Corcoran. One vocal apiece by Tiny Timbrell (a weak novelty) and Marion Morgan (who was off-mike) are minuses, but otherwise, the airchecks (all but two tracks are from 1947) are quite worthwhile. Highlights include "September Song" and extended versions of "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" and "Two O'Clock Jump."

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