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Things Aint What They Used to Be
Harry James
Things Aint What They Used to Be
Genre: Jazz


CD Details

All Artists: Harry James
Title: Things Aint What They Used to Be
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Four Star
Release Date: 5/20/1994
Genre: Jazz
Style: Swing Jazz
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 094629400532, 946294005324

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CD Reviews

Nasty! Bad! Awesome!
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 02/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I certainly hope the material on this collection is available elsewhere--recordings made in '49 for Navy distribution. The traditional big bands were pretty much done for, which Harry must have known, as reflected in this progressive, forward-looking, challenging and virtuoso program. Forget about Harry James, pop trumpet star responsible for the "Ciriciri Bin" and the abysmal "You Made Me Love You." Instead think Woody's first Herd, Dizzy's band, Supersax, Maynard Ferguson's early bands, or even Bird and Diz playing "'Shaw Nuff." The tempos are unclockable, but the band phrases like a single voice (Hefti's--"Proclamation"), and the solos are a thing of daring and beauty, led by the fat-toned but never lethargic Mr. James. Even a tune with the unfortunate title, "'Cept February, Which Has 28," is a trumpet showpiece sufficient to demonstrate why James is number one with many older players, even legit trumpet players.

Included notes are minimal, but some of the members of the band include Neal Hefti, Willie Smith (belonging in the pre-Bird Trinity alongside Johnny Hodges and Benny Carter), Corky Corcoran (best remembered for the Lionel Hampton Stardust concert), Joe Mondragon and Don Lamond.

Despite desclaimers on the CD, the audio is as good as anything I've heard pre-1950.

I guess all of the sellers of improvisation method books and professors of jazz higher education would prefer that you think the music has progressed by leaps and bounds since the primitive days of common "street players" such as these. At least the title of the collection is half true: things ain't what they used to be."