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Jazz From Club15 by Guy Lombardo

This unlikely CD arrived this week as part of the Request Records Jazz From Club15 series. While the Lombardo band was arguably one of the most successful of the big band era, it was hardly a jazz outfit.

Some folks will correct me and truthfully state that some of Lombardo’s first records were, in fact, jazz. In 1928, according to discographer Brian Rust, the Lombardo unit recorded two sides for Vocalion. The tunes were "Nobody’s Sweetheart" and "Mississippi Mud" under the pseudonym of the Louisiana Rhythm Kings. This writer has a copy of a 1924 session on the Canadian Starr-Gennett label on which the band renders a hot version of "Cotton Pickers Ball." Guy Lombardo’s determination to play "The Sweetest Music this Side Of Heaven" paid off. The band lasted 50 years under his direction until his death in 1977 when it continued under the lead of Bill Lombardo.

This CD contains no jazz at all but the band plays the pop standards as well as they ever did. Dance band fans will enjoy it. Jazz fans, however, should not ignore the Jazz From Club15 series as other issues include George Shearing, Stan Getz, Gene Krupa, Louis Prima, Pete Fountain, Woody Herman, Mel Tormé and others. The series is from remote broadcasts on KLUC radio originating in Las Vegas hot spots. The Lombardo CD is from "The Blue Room" of the Tropicana Hotel on the nights of February 2 and March 19, 1966. The sound quality is of typical of CBS in those years and will satisfy most listeners. You can even hear the famed tuba always employed by the Lombardo band. He had no use for string bass. Roll up the rug, grab your sweetie and do the businessman’s bounce.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Guy Lombardo
  • CD Title: Jazz From Club15
  • Genre: Big Band / Swing
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Request Records
  • Tracks: Theme, Dear Heart, Ain’t She Sweet, Maria Elena, Canadian Capers, Blues In the Night, Birth Of The Blues, I’ve Got A right To Sing The Blues, Girl From Ipanema, The Chicken Song, East Of The Sun, When My Sugar Walks Down The Street, Moon River, 12th Street Rag, Red roses for A Blue Lady, The Sweetheart Tree, The Pie In The Face Polka, Oh Marie, More, Auld Lang Syne.
  • Musicians: Not specified but includes Guy Lombardo, Lebert Lombardo, Carmen Lombardo, Kenny Gardner, Cliff Grass.
  • Rating: Two Stars
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