Jimmy Dorsey

Jimmy Dorsey: Members Edition

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One concludes that what has not been done with Jimmy Dorsey music on CD is criminal, and then along comes this budget-priced disc with 20 songs, nearly all of them first-rate. The sound quality on this collection is slightly rougher at certain times than one might like -- the sources are radio transcription discs, complete with applause at the end of some tracks -- but the content is difficult to dispute. The collection favors Jimmy Dorsey and his band's jazz instrumental work over their pop vocal material, although there is some of that here as well, and few of these cuts are currently available in any form; just hearing the band stretch out on the four-and-a-half-minute "The Great Lie" is a treat. The pop material, such as "El Rancho Vego," is a bit on the sappy side until the band takes over for the break, but that's to be expected given the demands of pop audiences at the time. The "King Porter Stomp" and "Together" show this group off to good advantage -- not just Dorsey's tenor playing, but the whole group -- and "Sweet Sue-Just You" (with a gorgeous piano break) and a breezily done "Manhattan" are both delightful, making this disc worth at least twice the actual price. And this is the only current CD to contain one of the band's classic numbers, Dizzy Gillespie's proto-bebop "Grand Central Getaway." That, and the presence of the Dixieland-flavored "Muskrat Ramble," are two more good reasons to own this disc.

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