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Recalling this incredibly gifted big band at the height of its popularity.

  • Dec 16, 2008
Colorful bandleader Lucky Millinder was on top of the world in 1941 and 1942.  His multi-talented lineup in those years featured the likes of the noted jazz/R&B pianist and organist Bill Doggett as well as the great Dizzy Gillespie who many consider one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all-time.  Add to that gifted vocalists like Trevor Bacon and the legendary Sister Rosetta Tharpe and you have a recipe for some simply incredible music.  "Lucky Millinder and His Orchestra: 1941-1942" features all of the great and diverse sounds emanating from the Millinder outfit in those days. This is one highly entertaining disc!

Fans of gospel and R&B will certainly recognize the name of Sister Rosetta Tharpe.  Rosetta was an exceptionally talented vocalist and an outstanding guitarist as well. She had launched her career in the 1930's and experienced remarkable success as a solo act. She joined Lucky Millinder's Orchestra in 1941 and the results were simply magic.  You can sample a half dozen or so of Rosetta's incredible vocals on this disc including extraordinary tunes like "Rock Me", "I Want A Tall Skinny Papa" and "Shout Sister Shout". This is phenominal stuff folks!  Likewise you can enjoy the vocal stylings of Trevor Bacon. His heartfelt rendition of the definitive World War II era tune "When The Lights Go On Again (All Over The World)" just might bring a tear to your eye.  And jazz afficianados will certainly enjoy a pair of tunes featuring Dizzy Gillespie solos namely "Mason Flyer" and "Little John Special". Those who enjoy the swinging sounds of a great big band will find tunes like "Savoy" and "Apollo Jump" highly satisfying indeed!  Now this collection features a pair of other World War II numbers.  One of them, "We're Gonna Have To Slap The Dirty Little Jap (And Uncle Sam's The Guy Who Can Do It)" would certainly be considered hate speech today.  However, this is a great period piece that most certainly reflects the emotionally charged period in which it was recorded. Very interesting!

"Lucky Millinder and His Orchestra: 1941-1942" features 20 terrific tracks.  I enjoyed them all. The sound quality is more than acceptable and the package does include a page of interesting liner notes.  All in all, this one is a real find.   Very highly recommended!
Recalling this incredibly gifted big band at the height of its popularity. Recalling this incredibly gifted big band at the height of its popularity. Recalling this incredibly gifted big band at the height of its popularity. Recalling this incredibly gifted big band at the height of its popularity.

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Paul Tognetti ()
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I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on I never could … more
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All 20 of the Lucky Millinder Orchestra's valuable 1941-1942 recordings are on this recommended CD. Millinder himself was not a musician and his only vocal here is mostly shouting on "Ride, Red, Ride," but he was an effective bandleader and frontman. Other than a couple of World War II propaganda songs, the music on these sessions emphasizes swing, and several notable artists are featured. Sister Rosetta Tharpe (who also played excellent guitar) has six rollicking showcases, and among the soloists are clarinetist Buster Bailey, tenorman Stafford Simon, pianist Bill Doggett, and (on the final four songs) altoist Tab Smith and the rapidly emerging trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. On "Little John Special," Dizzy quotes directly from the as-yet-unwritten "Salt Peanuts." Other highlights include "Rock Daniel," "Apollo Jump," "Rock Me," "That's All," and "Mason Flyer."

Track Listings: 
  1. Trouble in Mind
  2. Slide, Mr. Trombone
  3. Ride, Red, Ride
  4. Rock! Daniel
  5. Big Fat Mama
  6. Shout, Sister, Shout!
  7. Apollo Jump
  8. Rock Me
  9. Hey, Huss!
  10. Let Me Off Uptown
  11. That's All
  12. How About That Mess?
  13. Fightin' Doug MacArthur
  14. I Want a Tall Skinny Papa
  15. We're Gonna Have to Slap the Dirty Little Jap (And Uncle Sam the ...)
  16. Savoy
  17. Are You Ready?
  18. Mason Flyer
  19. When the Lights Go on Again (All Over the World)
  20. Little John Special
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Music, Albums, blues, Big Band, New York Blues


Artist: Lucky Millinder and His Orchestra
Label: Classics
Genre: Blues, New York Blues
Release Date: 1996

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