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 a comprehensive 24-page booklet with full personnel and recording details.
Total time: 82:14 min.
01. Swingtime In The Rockies (Goodman-Mundy) 4:03 · For Benny Goodman
02. Easy Does It (Young-Oliver) 5:18 · For Count Basie
03. Five O'Clock Drag (Ellington-Adamson) 5:48 · For Duke Ellington
04. Feet Draggin' Blues (Harry James) 5:35 · For Harry James
05. Summit Ridge Drive (Artie Shaw) 4:17 · For Artie Shaw
06. Tuxedo Junction (Dash-Johnson-Hawkins-Feyne) 4:35 · For Glenn Miller
07. Blues On Parade (HermanTyler) 4:52 · For Woody Herman
08. Okay For Baby (Benny Carter) 3:41 · For Jimmie Lunceford
09. March Of The Toys (Herbert-Haughton) 3:52 · For Tommy Dorsey
01. Skyliner (Harry L. Alford) 4:42 · For Charlie Barnet
02. Parade Of The Milk Bottle Caps (McCarthy-Dorsey) 3:53 · For Jimmy Dorsey
03. Celery Stalks At Midnight (Sigman-Harris-Bradley) 4:09 · For Will Bradley
04. I'm Prayin' Humble (Bob Haggart) 3:02 · For Bob Crosby
05. Hors D'Oeuvre (David Comer) 4:44 · For Bert Ambrose
06. Liza (G. & I. Gershwin) 3:32 · For Chick Webb
07. The Campbells Are Swinging (Larry Clinton) 3:48 · For Larry Clinton
08. Organ Grinder's Swing (Hudson-Parrish-Mills) 4:32 · For Jimmy Lunceford
09. Ton O'Rock Bump (Charlie Shirley) 5:19 · For The Big 18
10. Quaker City Blues (Savitt-Schultz) 2:30 · For Jan Savitt
CD 1, from the album "Live Echoes of the Swinging Bands" (RCA Victor LSP-1921)
CD 2, from the album "More Live Echoes of the Swinging Bands" (RCA Victor LSP-1983)
Arranged and Conducted by Charlie Shirley
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], 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 & 'Beethoven' Jean-Michel Reisser
Stereo · Digitally Remastered
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas S.L.