Jan Garber

The Swinging Sweet Bands, Vol. 2

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Jan Garber, who led one of the most popular sweet big bands of the 1930s and '40s, an orchestra famous for its quivering saxophones and corny repertoire, surprisingly headed a decent swing band during 1943-1944. He recognized that swing was the thing and, at the urging of his daughter, he reorganized his music, altered his personnel, and had a pretty reasonable jazz ensemble. None of his sidemen became famous (they are not even listed on this collector's LP), and his big band did not sound particularly distinctive. Nor did it catch on with the general public, and by 1945 he went back to the sweet formula that had served him well in the past. But for its brief period, the Jan Garber swing band made some worthwhile music. The live performances on this LP (which have occasional vocals by Liz Tilton and Debbie Claire) include "Dispatch From Dogpatch," "Jersey Bounce," "Margie," and "I Want to Be Happy."

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