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Dance With His NBC Orchestra

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Album Review

It would not be an exaggeration to call this French CD "definitive" of Teddy Hill's band, since it includes all 26 of his orchestra's recordings. Hill led an excellent big band during 1935-1937 that, although overshadowed by its competitors, featured such major soloists as trumpeters Roy Eldridge, Frankie Newton, and Dizzy Gillespie (heard on his very first recording date); trombonist Dicky Wells; and tenorman Chu Berry, among others. Although trumpeter Bill Dillard takes nine unfortunate ballad vocals, the other selections are excellent examples of no-nonsense swing. Highlights include "Lookie, Lookie, Lookie, Here Comes Cookie," "Uptown Rhapsody," "At the Rug Cutter's Ball," "China Boy," and "King Porter Stomp." A must for swing collectors.

Biography

Born: 07 December 1909 in Birmingham, AL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s

Though he led a successful big band throughout the 1930s, Teddy Hill is best-remembered for managing Minton's Playhouse in Harlem, a nightclub where experimental jam sessions eventually led to the birth of the lingua franca of jazz: bebop. Prior to that, his musical career began after moving to New York in 1927, where he joined George Howe's band (which become Luis Russell's within months), staying until 1931. He started his own band in 1934, attracting such sidemen as Roy Eldridge, Chu Berry, Dicky...
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