Various Artists

Ultimate Big Band Collection: Great Theme Songs

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This easy-flowing ten-track set has a wonderful thematic premise -- it collects the signature musical themes of the biggest of the big bands from the swing era. Each of these bands had a composition that was its calling card, its brand, if you will, which means that here one gets vintage and timeless recordings of Duke Ellington's “Take the 'A' Train,” Benny Goodman's “Let’s Dance,” Glenn Miller's “Moonlight Serenade,” and Artie Shaw's “Begin the Beguine,” among others. It’s a nice way for jazz novices to get a quick introduction to each of these marvelous big bands and the signature themes that made them famous.

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