Harry James

Trumpet Blues: The Best of Harry James

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Released to coincide with the publication of Peter Levinson's biography of the same name, Capitol Jazz's Trumpet Blues: The Best of Harry James is an excellent collection of 16 highlights from James' stint at Capitol between 1955 and 1958. These don't quite rank among James' very best recordings, which are generally considered to be his '30s and '40s work, but they're enjoyable latter-day waxings, finding him in a relaxed, generous mood. Among the highlights are the re-recorded title tracks and duets with Buddy Rich, Willie Smith, Corky Corcoran, and Helen Forrest. Trumpet Blues shouldn't be considered a definitive statement, but it's a nice addendum of latter-day recordings to a collection of James' classic recordings.

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