Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Paul Whiteman's unusual recordings
John J. Murphy, Jr | Wantagh, NY, USA | 10/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Paul Whiteman's orchestra was the leading popular band during the 1920's, with Whiteman himself gaining the sobriquet "King of Jazz." This title still creates controversy to this day since Whiteman was an interpreter of jazz, not a pure jazz musician, presenting jazz and popular tunes in a lavishly orchestrated manner. Paul was a classically trained musician, yet he found jazz fascinating and felt that its free and lively spirit could be codified and orchestrated according to traditional scoring methods. Essentially he was able to create a massive audience with his popular scores for jazz tunes that the audience would have otherwise been afraid of it.
This particular album contains some of Whiteman's largest hit recordings commencing with "Wang Wang Blues", his very first recording from 1920. However there are several early electrical recordings from 1925 and 1926 that I am not sure have ever been released in modern format prior to this album, thus making it unique: "Footloose","Charlstonette", and "St. Louis Blues". Whiteman is beginning to experiment with his music and orchestrations after coming off of the successful Aeolian Hall concert of 1924 that introduced "Rhapsody in Blue." He specifically indicates, as noted in one of his biographies, that he wanted more jazz influence in the orchestrations and musicians. With this initiative stated, he went about making over his orchestra by bringing in several jazz musicians: the Dorsey Brothers, Bix Beiderbecke and Frankie Trumbauer, Bing Crosby and the Rhythm Boys, then later on, Red Nichols, Joe Venuti, Eddie Lange, Jack Teagarden, and Mildred Bailey. Listen to the recordings and you will hear the metamorphosis take place, particularly as the recordings progress in to the early 1930's.
I find this a wonderful second album to add to any album of Whiteman's original hit songs, because it demonstrates well the development of one of the premier orchestras of the Jazz Age.