Bunny Berigan

The Greatest White Trumpet Player of All Time

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While his premature death at age 37 from alcoholism has caused trumpeter Bunny Berigan to be overlooked to a certain extent by some critics, he remains one of the top players on his instrument in the history of jazz. This Sandy Hook compilation LP draws from ten different transcriptions, featuring Berigan leading his big band. Berigan's consistently swinging solos are the highlights of each track, though pianist Joe Lipman, tenor saxophonist Georgie Auld, clarinetist Joe Dixon, and trombonist Nat Lobovsky all get in their licks, even though there's no track-by-track listing of personnel, let alone a comprehensive list. There are also two less satisfying ballad features for singer Gail Reese and one by Dick Wharton. While the music may not quite compare to his recordings for RCA Victor from the same era, the performances and excellent sound reproduction (with little if any distortion or surface noise) make this out of print LP worth acquiring.