Bob Wilber and these French people should have gotten some sort of humanitarian award from the United Nations for giving the world Vol. 1, which was devoted to the many arrangements devised by Fletcher Henderson for Benny Goodman's bands. The sequel is just as well conceived and carefully executed, with the added benefit of 16 additional arrangers! Again these are almost all hitherto unrecorded charts, excavated onsite at Yale's mammoth Goodman archive. Wilber composed the exception, "Tuxedo Stomp," written specifically for this band. The other pieces arranged by their composers are "Blue Interlude" by Benny Carter; "Conversation" by Mary Lou Williams; "Ballad for Benny" by Oliver Nelson; "Song of the Plow" by Alex Hill; "Clarinetta," composed and arranged by Mel Powell when he was only 18 years old; and Alec Templeton's "Mendelssohn Mowed Down." Also included here is one additional arrangement by Fletcher Henderson, "I'm Coming Virginia." The rest of the arrangers are Eddie Sauter, Buck Clayton, Jimmy Mundy, Edgar Sampson, Gordon Jenkins, Joe Lipman, Spud Murphy, Ralph Burns, and Skip Martin. Besides being a great choice for casual listening, this album may serve as a lesson in how to appreciate the art of creating swing arrangements for big bands.
AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf