Jan Garber

The Hot Years 1925-1930

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Jan Garber is most famous for leading a popular dance band in the 1930s and '40s, one that was originally inspired by Guy Lombardo and featured shaking saxophones and rather sickly sweet music that sounds laughably dated today. However, before he turned mostly toward schlock, Jan Garber had a surprisingly viable jazz/dance band in the 1920s. This CD from the collectors' TOM (The Old Masters) label mostly dates from 1926-29, and it is filled with cheerful and swinging ensembles, along with some harmless vocals and fine, concise solos from the no-name outfit. Among the highlights are such numbers as "Sister Kate," "Baby Face" (this particular band's one hit), "Tiger Rag" (taken from a movie soundtrack), "Steppin' Around" (with guest banjoist Harry Reser), "'Round Evening," "She's a Great, Great Girl" and "When a Woman Loves a Man." Actually, all 24 selections are worthwhile, making this the one Jan Garber CD that belongs in every serious jazz collection.

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