The Big 18 was an all star big band that pays tribute to the swinging big bands of the thirties. The original idea came from Fred Reynolds, musical director of RCA Victor at the end of the fifties. He called his library to select numbers that would be characteristic of the orchestras of the swing era. He then commissioned arranger Charles Shirley to listen to the original recordings and transcribe them, keeping as much as possible of the flavor of the original band, leaving space in the arrangements for much longer solos than the original short recordings allowed for.
Some of the greatest musicians in each band selected the tunes that were chosen to produce these wonderful sessions. It resulted in some very fine solos and an exciting ensemble sound, plus a superb recording that faithfully captured their spirit.
This complete edition includes both of The Big 18 original LPs on 2 CDs and in chronological order!
Tracks from CD 1, from the 12" album
"Live Echoes of the Swinging Bands"
(RCA Victor LSP-1921)
Tracks from CD 2, from the 12" album
"More Live Echoes of the Swinging Bands"
(RCA Victor LSP-1983)
Personnel on CD 1:
Buck Clayton, Charlie Shavers, Rex Stewart, Billy Butterfield (tp), Lawrence Brown, Lou McGarity, Dickie Wells, Vic Dickenson (tb), Walt Levinsky (cl, as), Peanuts Hucko (cl #4), Hymie Schertzer (as), Sam Donahue, Boomie Richman (ts), Ernie Caceres (bs), Johnny Guarnieri (p, harpsichord on #5), Barry Galbraith (g), Milt Hinton (b) Jimmy Crawford (d).
Recorded in New York City, on June 10 (tracks #1-3), June 17 (tracks #4-7) and June 24 (tracks #8-9), 1958
Personnel on CD 2:
Buck Clayton, Charlie Shavers, Rex Stewart [#1-10], Billy Butterfield [#1-2], Yank Lawson [#3-10] (tp), Lou McGarity, Dickie Wells [#1-10], Lawrence Brown, Vic Dickenson [#1-5], Bob Asher, Sy Berger [#6-10] (tb), Peanuts Hucko [#1-2] (cl), Walt Levinsky [#3-10] (cl, as), Hymie Schertzer (as), Sam Donahue, Boomie Richman (ts), Johnny Guarnieri (p), Barry Galbraith (g), Milt Hinton [#1-5], Russ 'Saunders' Savakus (b), Jimmy Crawford [#1-5] and Don Lamond [#6-10] (d).
Recorded in New York City, on June 24 (tracks #1-2), July 8 (tracks #3-5) and July 15 (tracks #6-10), 1958
Recordings produced for RCA Victor by Fred Reynolds
Reissue producers: Jordi Pujol & Jean-Michel Reisser
Stereo · Digitally Remastered
01. Swingtime In The Rockies for Benny Goodman
02. Easy Does It for Count Basie
03. Five OClock Drag for Duke Ellington
04. Feet Draggin Blues for Harry James
(Harry James) 5:35
05. Summit Ridge Drive for Artie Shaw (Shaw) 4:17
06. Tuxedo Junction for Glenn Miller
07. Blues On Parade for Woody Herman
08. Okay For Baby for Jimmie Lunceford
(Benny Carter) 3:41
09. March Of The Toys for Tommy Dorsey
01. Skyliner for Charlie Barnet (Alford) 4:42
02. Parade Of The Milk Bottle Caps for Jimmy Dorsey (McCarthy-Dorsey) 3:53
03. Celery Stalks At Midnight for Will Bradley
04. Im Prayin Humble for Bob Crosby
(Bob Haggart) 3:02
05. Hors DOeuvre for Bert Ambrose (Comer) 4:44
06. Liza for Chick Webb (G. & I. Gershwin) 3:32
07. The Campbells Are Swinging for Larry Clinton
(Larry Clinton) 3:48
08. Organ Grinders Swing for Hudson-Delange
09. Ton ORock Bump for The Big 18 (Shirley) 5:19
10. Quaker City Blues for Jan Savitt