Various Artists

Uncollected Big Bands, Vol. 1

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These "uncollected" big bands represent a cross section of well-known and obscure leaders primarily from the '40s. While Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw were in their heyday, other groups played equally valid, though not as popular music. The familiar names are that of Jimmy Dorsey (two selections), Harry James, Les Brown & His Band of Renown (two tracks, including "I'm Makin' Believe" featuring Doris Day and "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm"), and Woody Herman. Lesser-knowns are Larry Clinton, Charlie Spivak doing a lovely take of "Serenade in Blue," Ozzie Nelson (yes, he of the Ozzie and Harriet TV show) singing and leading his big band, and real obscuros Blue Barron and Carmen Cavallaro. These kinds of trips down memory lane are not only mere nostalgia, but remind listeners who were the big dogs and who were the equally enjoyable second- or third-tier bands that regionally held up in comparison as the best of the rest.

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