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Ultimate Big Band Collection: Harry James

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Album Review

One of the things that set Harry James and his band apart during the swing era were the arrangements. They were extremely formal and, because he was a trumpeter, brassy more often than not. That said, his music was not only for dancing, but provided an often exotic listening experience as well. The James volume in Sony's Masterworks Jazz series is a solid, decent-sounding, budget-priced introduction to some of the most ambitious and moody music to come from this group. While tracks like "Sleepy Lagoon" and "I Don't Want to Walk Without You" provide the more romantic side of the James' sound (complete with strings), other numbers, such as the Cuban-flavored "Ciribiribin," and the brief but dramatic reading of "Flight of the Bumblebee," offer an aural view of the band's fascination with color, texture, dynamic, and nuance.

Biography

Born: March 15, 1916 in Albany, GA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Harry James was one of the most outstanding instrumentalists of the swing era, employing a bravura playing style that made his trumpet work instantly identifiable. He was also one of the most popular bandleaders of the first half of the 1940s, and he continued to lead his band until just before his death, 40 years later. James was the child of circus performers. His father, Everette Robert James, was the bandleader and trumpet player in the orchestra for the Mighty Haag Circus, and his mother, Maybelle...
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Ultimate Big Band Collection: Harry James, Harry James
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  • $7.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Big Band, Mainstream Jazz
  • Released: Mar 01, 2011

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