Niels Ryde

Traffic Jam

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Of all Shaw's orchestras (not counting his Army band, he had six significant ones), his second was by far the most popular. During 1938-39 his ensemble was way ahead of the competition, dethroning Benny Goodman's orchestra and not fully surpassed by Glenn Miller until the clarinetist's sudden decision to flee to Mexico to escape the pressure. Traffic Jam contains lively radio performances from this era with many fine moments from Tony Pastor, tenor-saxophonist Georgie Auld, singer Helen Forrest, a young but powerful Buddy Rich and the leader/clarinetist. It's an excellent sampling of Shaw's most famous band.