Harry James

Stompin' at the Savoy

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This budget CD looks like a bootleg, does not list the recording date (which is 1948) and only has around 40 minutes of music, but it is recommended anyway. Trumpeter Harry James was at the height of his powers during this underrated period, his orchestra sometimes is quite influenced by bop, and these ten instrumentals generate more than their share of heat. Highlights include "Shine," an extended "King Porter Stomp," "Stomping at the Savoy" and "Roly Poly." In addition to James, altoist Willie Smith, pianist Bruce MacDonald and tenorman Corky Corcoran all make strong impressions and the music is much better than one might expect. Well worth picking up.

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