Boyd Raeburn

Memphis in June

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AllMusic Review by

The Boyd Raeburn Orchestra was one of the most consistently interesting and unpredictable big bands of 1945-47 but because its music was beyond bebop and Stan Kenton, it was just too modernistic to survive for long. This particular LP has some rare and unusual material related to the Raeburn legacy. There are four selections from December 1945 by the full orchestra with a vocal apiece from Ginnie Powell and David Allyn and a remake of George Handy's classic "Tonsilectomy." Most unusual are four songs from early 1946 by a unit comprised of alto/flute, oboe, English horn, bass clarinet, baritone, French horn, two guitars, two basses, drums and pianist Erroll Garner. Two of the four songs feature David Allyn ballad vocals but it is "C Jam Blues" and "Caravan" that are of greatest interest; Tom Talbert contributed all four arrangements. The second side of the album has five numbers from February 1947 arranged by Johnny Richards. Ginnie Powell takes two vocals on these advanced charts and clarinetist Buddy DeFranco is well-featured on "Sheharazade." This stimulating music (among the last recorded performances by the Boyd Raeburn Orchestra before it finally broke up) is well worth searching for.