Charlie Barnett

About a decade ago some ancient record geek died and the grandkids dropped off his perfectly maintained collection of swing albums at a Goodwill. Without telling Fyl I bought over a hundred of them. We’ll write it off, I told her later, which we did, helping to undermine the economy. Anyway, I listened to a mess of them, the Basie and Ellington and Artie Shaw and scads more, gave some lame ones to Alan Hambra, who is still mad, and tucked a sizeable proportion into my closet, awaiting the hipster big bang revival when they’ll be worth a zillion dollars. That hasn’t happened yet. So sometimes I dig though the box and pull out a few obscure albums. It really is hard to feel hip and with it listening to Charlie Barnett but damn if Roy Eldridge didn’t burn the place down on that opening solo, and the band is tight and swinging, Buddy DeFranco is on clarinet, Dodo Marmarosa on piano, the drum and bass and guitar section almost like Basie’s, and I’d forgotten how wonderful a singer Kay Starr was. August of 1944 this was, and the Yanks are racing across France to this stuff. Swing helped win the war, or didn’t lose it anyway.

No Cherokee, though.

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