The King James Version

Harry James & His Orchestra

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The King James Version Review

by Scott Yanow

In late July 1976, trumpeter Harry James recorded enough music for two LPs. This particular set gives one a good sampling of his 1976 orchestra and finds James happy to emulate the swing sound of Count Basie. The arrangements, by Ernie Wilkins, Thad Jones, Ray Conniff, Dave Matthews, Rob Turk and Jimmy Haskell, lack any real surprises (other than the fact that James decided to record "Lara's Theme" from Dr. Zhivago), and the sidemen, other than drummer Les DeMerle, sound pretty anonymous. James was playing well enough this late in his career, but the solos, arrangements and material are quite routine and predictable.

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