Paul Whiteman

Jazz a La King (1920-1936)

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This definitive two-LP set traces the recording career of bandleader Paul Whiteman, who was given the unfortunate title of "The King of Jazz." Whiteman did lead the most popular jazz-influenced orchestra of the 1920s, and his oversized ensemble sometimes played fine jazz. The orchestra was at its creative peak during 1927-1929 when cornetist Bix Beiderbecke was its top soloist, but since those performances are readily available elsewhere, Bix is only heard on three of the 33 recordings reissued on this very interesting two-fer. Starting with 1920's "Wang Wang Blues" and "Whispering" and ending with the 1936 edition which sometimes featured trombonist Jack Teagarden, many of the jazz highpoints of Whiteman's career are on the set, programmed in chronological order. Highlights include "Hot Lips," "Charleston," "Milenberg Joys," "St. Louis Blues," "Whiteman Stomp," "Sensation," "From Monday On," "G. Blues," and "Nobody's Sweetheart." Thus far this release is superior to any Paul Whiteman collection reissued on CD.

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