Harry James

Saturday Night Swing

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This is the second of two Giants of Jazz LPs featuring the Harry James Octet (a small group taken out of the trumpeter's big band) during 1953-54. This setting gave James and his all-stars an opportunity to stretch out a bit. Altoist Willie Smith, tenor-saxophonist Herbie Steward and valve trombonist Juan Tizol (featured on "Caravan") get to co-star and drummer Buddy Rich sings "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" quite effectively. An excellent small-group swing outing well-deserving of being reissued on CD; Harry James should have done more.