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If you`re reading this you probably know who the now octogenarian Bob Wilber is, and that he has been clarinetist,saxophonist and bandleader in the fields of mainstream jazz, classic and big band swing for decades. You probably also know that Fletcher Henderson led one of the most important bands during the formative years of swing music and that his provision of arrangements for the Benny Goodman band was a key element in that band`s success. As the title of the CD states, these are the charts that Goodman, for various reasons, never recorded.
The band Wilber leads here are The Tuxedo Big Band, from Toulouse, France, and unless you`re French you probably haven`t heard of them (I`m a pretty seasoned listener and they are new to me) no matter; this is a terrific group with good soloists, excellent section work and a real feel for the Goodman band`s sound - you could easily convince yourself you are listening to the real thing - and with this material to work with the results are sublime. Expect to hear mainly familiar tunes in unfamiliar arrangements - click on the samples above if they`re still available. Wilber is well featured - as Goodman would have been - throughout the 63 mins of the disc with a small group feature on the last track "Bojangles of Harlem".
This is an album that will be of interest to swing and big-band enthusiasts, Goodman fans and people with two ears, something between them and a pulse. Highly recommended.
One more point; it`s harder to find this disc through regular outlets; if you`re tempted, get it while prices are still reasonable.
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on 10 January 2015
Pure magic
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