The first ten of the 21 tunes on this CD are CBS radio studio recordings made in NYC; the second half are live club recordings from Chicago – all made in the Spring of 1940. The Bob Crosby Orchestra was very popular by this time – a polished and very enthusiastic band. With its roots firmly based in dixieland jazz, the orchestra converted to a big band format, thus creating a highly individualistic style which blended dixieland with big band swing music. Two of the tunes on this CD feature the “Bob Cats” – the eight-piece band-within-a-band in the Bob Crosby Orchestra. Much credit for the distinctive sound of the Bob Crosby Orchestra on these recordings is due to the great writing and arranging talent within the band provided by bassist Bob Haggart and clarinetist Matty Matlock, who were able to successfully blend dixieland and swing jazz. All in all, this is sweet and swinging music – “happy “ jazz at its best!
Bob Crosby (vocal), Billy Butterfield (trumpet), Irving Fazola (clarinet), Eddie Miller (tenor sax), Jess Stacy (piano), Bob Haggart (bass).