Various Artists

Swing, Vol. 1 [RCA]

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This out-of-print LP contains more than its share of historical gems, most of which are fortunately currently available on CD. Drummer Gene Krupa leads a pickup group that includes a notable frontline (clarinetist Benny Goodman, trumpeter Roy Eldridge and Chu Berry on tenor) for four songs, two of which have vocals from Helen Ward. Singer Una Mae Carlisle is accompanied by Lester Young's sextet on four tunes (including the wonderfully naive "Blitzkrieg Baby You Can't Bomb Me"). Trumpeter Frankie Newton plays three songs including his personal favorite recording "The Blues My Baby Gave to Me." An all-star quintet from 1937 (with trumpeter Bunny Berigan, trombonist Tommy Dorsey, pianist Fats Waller, guitarist Dick McDonough and drummer George Wettling) performs a classic rendition of "Honeysuckle Rose" along with "Blues." Finishing this set are three selections from 1946 Esquire All-American groups: a Dixieland satire ("Moldy Fig Stomp") and two memorable numbers ("The One That Got Away" and "Blow Me Down"), both of which are highlighted by remarkable trumpet solos by Charlie Shavers. This attractive album is worth searching for; there was never a second volume.