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Wandered out to the Jubilee the other night and had the pleasure of hearing one of the best young bands yet formed. Will Bradley's bunch, with Ray Mckinley playing drums, are as well-rounded and perform as smoothly as almost any of the big top bands.
Bradley leads the band by playing trombone, so on obvious comparison exists with Tommy Dorsey. for total returns, we'll take Bradley. His sweet solos are just as good as Tommy's and he can play hot, something T. D. admittedly can't do, plus the fact that he is a much pleasanter "front man" than Tommy.
Mckinley is my mind one of the host drum men in the country. Possessing a technique that rivals Krupa's in its crystal clarity, it seems to me after hearing him not only with Bradley but with the Jimmy Dorsey band that his ideas are more original and more strikingly Illustrated than those Jungle Gene." Plus the fact that McKinley is somebody's gift to a brass section. While other drummers are pounding away at just keeping good steady time, McKinley is backing the brass on every lick they play and thus adding immeasureably to the lift of the hand.
Planist Freddy Slack, besides doing arrangements and fumadiddling around with various of the boogie-woogie passages, is playing more plane than I have never heard him to before, and with the really terrific clarinet and trumpet takeoff men in the band, sole ideas are pretty well taken care of.
On thing that this band has that most don't is collective "push". Every one in it is working all the time; there's a bite to the ensemble passages that makes them much more interesting than they ordinarily would. It's a young band, but a good band, and one almost anybody should put their chips on.
Word has slithered in that a vile shindig is to be held this Friday; that immoral pastimes such as the dance shall be indulged in; that wild revelry shall shriek through hallowed halls until the first vestiges of dawn. In other words, in an effort to laugh down the sinister smirk of finals, Leverett House is throwing a dance. For some trivial sum, you will be able to prance and dance to the music of Kent Bartlett and watch a smooth, suave exhibition of what should be (but ain't) done on the dance floor.
AND TO THE RECORDS: Hazy and Blue,: a nice job on the Templeton tune by Kay Kyser. Song itself sounds like the concert jazz that was the range in the middle thirties... "Perfidia" by Nana Rodrigo is listed as a bolero, but that's about as far as the boleroness of the thing goes. Sounds vaguely like a foxtrot that was told to go South American, met a rhumba on the way and gave up in the middle... Tiger Rag"--this tune has been torn apart for so many years by so many bands, that any version is apt to sound trite. At least however this Krupa version doesn't get out of taste very often and doesn't have any trombone "tiger" growls...
"Honky Tonk Train Blues" by Milt Herth is the first record I have ever hard by this Hammond organist that had some good ideas, well executed. "Slow Freight" is back in the same old disappointing style, however... Les Brown, back on the label he started out to record for (Decca), finally has a band that is mature enough to attempt things beyond seeing how many high Cs the brass section can play. "Comanche War Dance" is a very creditable version of the Ray Noble tune, and "Walkin' and Swingin'" is an excellent job on the Mary Lou Williams original. Plano and ensemble are particularly good...
Victor, continuing its reissues on Bluebird, brings out a Goodman Trio record of "Nobody's Sweetheart" and "More Than You Know" next week. And due out shortly are the following which should be plenty good: "Swing Out" (a new master of this Luis Russell record)... "When It's Sleepy Time Down South" by Louis Armstrong... "New Orleans Twist" by Gene Gifford... "Swing Is Here" by Gene Krupa (with Chu Berry, Roy Eldridge, and Jesse Stacy solos, this is worth getting)... "Peggy" by McKinney's Cotter Pickers... "Stingeree Blues" by King Oliver."
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