Various Artists

Way to the West

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This imported LP from European Capitol contains some rare items from the early years of the label. Singer June Christy is heard on four selections from 1949-50 backed by all-star groups led by either Bob Cooper or Shorty Rogers; her navigation of Bob Graettinger's complex reworking of "Everything Happens to Me" is quite interesting. Surprisingly successful are four selections by singer Johnny Parker in which he is assisted by The King Sisters; the stimulating arrangements are by Pete Rugolo and the "backup" orchestra is essentially the Stan Kenton band. This worthy album is rounded out by an early set led by trumpeter Maynard Ferguson (when he was still with Kenton). Fans of Stan Kenton and West Coast jazz will want to search for this rare LP which was reissued by Fresh Sound.