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Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra (1920-1935)

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Album Review

This import disc, containing 21 tracks and running nearly 70 minutes, commemorates the 100th anniversary of Paul Whiteman's birth by combining Columbia and Victor sides recorded from Whiteman's early days of bandleading up to just before the birth of the Swing Era. They are for the most part light, pleasant instrumentals. Only two, "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers" (here called "Parade of the Tin Soldiers") and "It All Depends on You," were among Whiteman's many hits. Another, "I'm a Dreamer," features a refrain by a vocal trio, plus the voice of a young Bing Crosby. The set concludes with a medley of some of Whiteman's biggest bits and an abbreviated version of "Rhapsody in Blue." The sound quality is adequate, though it has not been cleaned up to remove surface noise.


Born: 28 March 1890 in Denver, CO

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s

Because press agents dubbed him "The King of Jazz" in the 1920s, Paul Whiteman has always been considered a controversial figure in jazz history. Actually, his orchestra was the most popular during the era and at times (despite its size) it did play very good jazz; perhaps "King of the Jazz Age" would have been a better title. Originally a classically trained violinist, Paul Whiteman led a large Navy band during World War I and always had a strong interest in the popular music of the day. In 1918,...
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