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1942-43 Live Broadcast Air-Checks

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Album Review

Throughout most of his career, trumpeter Charlie Spivak was content to lead a successful, sweet-oriented big band, one that played first class dance music but very little jazz. However, for a period from 1942-1943, altoist Willie Smith (who had just left Jimmy Lunceford's Orchestra) and drummer Dave Tough joined Spivak's outfit and some more jazz-oriented arrangements were added to the book. This CD from the collectors' Jazz House label features several previously unreleased broadcasts by Spivak's short-lived swing band. When one considers that the recording strike of the period kept this unit off of commercial records, this is a particularly valuable release. Among the high points are "Loveless Love" (which has a vocal by Smith), a hard-driving "Swingin' the Blues," a comedy routine by Smith, three numbers that were recorded as tests for the movie Follow the Boys (none of which were used in the film) and a lengthy "Star Eyes" (which has a vocal by Irene Daye). A surprising release.


Born: February 17, 1907 in Kiev, Ukraine

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s

Despite coming up in the jazz world and spending his life around jazz musicians, Charlie Spivak rarely improvised and was most notable for his pretty tone. He moved to the U.S. with his family as a small child and grew up in New Haven, CT. Spivak began playing trumpet when he was ten, gigged locally as a teenager, and worked with Don Cavallaro's Orchestra. During most of 1924-1930 he was with Paul Specht's Orchestra, primarily playing section parts where his tone was an asset. Spivak was cast in...
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1942-43 Live Broadcast Air-Checks, Charlie Spivak
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