Between 1995 and 1999, the Hep reissue label put together a series dedicated to four of Benny Goodman's best arrangers. Two volumes were devoted to Fletcher Henderson and one apiece focused upon Eddie Sauter, Mel Powell, and the great Jimmy Mundy (1907-1983), a tenor saxophonist whose professional skills were forged in the kiln of the Earl Hines Orchestra. Mundy led his own groups from time to time but he made his strongest contributions to jazz while working as composer and arranger for bands led by Count Basie, Gene Krupa, Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie, Paul Whiteman, Harry James, and Benny Goodman. Plays Jimmy Mundy is a solid collection of classic big-band swing. In addition to crafting the excellent arrangements, Mundy composed "Jam Session," co-wrote the exciting "Madhouse" with Earl Hines, and shared composer credits with Goodman on "House Hop" and "Swingtime in the Rockies." Recorded between September 1935 and November 1938, these 22 exercises in swing feature a number of skilled instrumentalists (Harry James, Ziggy Elman, Bunny Berigan, Bud Freeman, and Jess Stacy) as well as vocalists Ella Fitzgerald, Martha Tilton, Helen Ward, and Jimmy Rushing.
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