Various Artists

Jazz in L.A.: The 1940s

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This CD, issued by radio station KLON in anticipation of presenting the Hollywood Jazz Festival (a major event that never occurred due to the L.A. riots), will be a tough one to find but is worth the search. Most of its material (all recorded in Los Angeles in the 1940s) is extremely rare. Its contents include a medley from the play "Jump for Joy" that features Duke Ellington, Herb Jeffries, Ivie Anderson and Joe Turner, a jam from a broadcast by the Lee and Lester Young band, live performances by Cee Pee Johnson's Orchestra, Benny Carter's big band, Dizzy Gillespie with Charlie Parker, the Nat King Cole Trio, Howard McGhee's Sextet and Boyd Raeburn's Orchestra plus mostly obscure studio sides by Lucky Thompson, the orchestras of Gerald Wilson, Earle Spencer and Lyle Griffin, Teddy Edwards, Dexter Gordon with Wardell Gray ("The Chase") and Charles Mingus (in 1949). The program traces the evolution of bop in Los Angeles and nearly every selection is quite successful. Historic music that deserves much better distribution.

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