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Album Review

Not quite a greatest-hits collection, this collection of 13 sides cut by Gene Krupa and his band during World War II, exclusively for distribution to servicemen, is still an excellent addendum to any serious collection of his work. The packaging itself is somewhat on the sloppy side — there's no specific list of personnel, apart from the obvious presence on a few tracks of Anita O'Day and Roy "Little Jazz" Eldridge, and Krupa's name is even misspelled here and there. On the other hand, we get a nearly five-minute "live in the studio" rendition of "Stompin' at the Savoy," complete with a one-minute Krupa solo and some first-rate piano and sax surrounding it, plus fun stuff like "Ooh Hot Dog," a robust run-through of "Drum Boogie" (with Gene really working out of the snare and the high-hat), and a long, moody performance of "The Very Thought of You" (marred, alas, by some surface noise).


Born: January 15, 1909 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

The first drummer to be a superstar, Gene Krupa may not have been the most advanced drummer of the 1930s but he was in some ways the most significant. Prior to Krupa, drum solos were a real rarity and the drums were thought of as a merely supportive instrument. With his good looks and colorful playing, he became a matinee idol and changed the image of drummers forever. Gene Krupa made history with his first record. For a session in 1927 with the McKenzie-Condon Chicagoans, he became the first musician...
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