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Linger Awhile

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Album Review

When Paul Whiteman raised his baton, fans of hot jazz invariably knew they were going to hate what proceeded from his orchestra. Whiteman forced the cards with his latter-day declamation "King of Jazz," so he earned a degree of resentment that most society-band leaders like Ben Selvin never experienced. Whiteman did possess two saving graces: a love of jazz that dated back to World War I (what he did with it is sometimes another matter) and either the ability, the luck, or the popularity to gather great musicians under the umbrella of his band. During the '20s and '30s, a majority of the great jazz musicians (always white, natch) passed through his ranks, including Bix Beiderbecke, Benny Goodman, Bing Crosby, both Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Joe Venuti, and Frankie Trumbauer. He also provided the venue for two of the great performances of the 20th century: George Gershwin's premiere of "Rhapsody in Blue" and Paul Robeson's "Ol' Man River." The Living Era collection Linger Awhile examines two facets of his music-making. On the first disc, it's the great recordings that Whiteman's name was attached to, including performances with the names listed above: Beiderbecke's expressive solo on "You Took Advantage of Me," Trumbauer's solo on "The Bouncing Ball," and a few of Crosby's early vocal gems. The second disc focuses only on Whiteman's most popular recordings, which obviously appealed to a mainstream audience only gradually being introduced to jazz as a popular form. The CD format works well; jazz fans can proceed directly to the first disc to find their favorite sides, while nostalgia seekers can use the second for purposes of historical rumination.


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...
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Linger Awhile, Paul Whiteman
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