This four-LP set, which is now also available as a three-CD box, is easily the definitive Fletcher Henderson package. Between 1923-38, Henderson's orchestra was one of the finest swing bands in the world, and during 1923-27 (until Duke Ellington's emergence) it was the first and the best. The arrangements of Don Redman in the early days set the pace for jazz; Benny Carter and Horace Henderson also wrote some important charts before Henderson himself finally developed into a major arranger in 1932. This Columbia set is not complete, but it includes 64 selections, at least 60 of them gems. This essential box (which contains three wonderful versions of "King Porter Stomp") belongs in everyone's jazz collection.
We have combined in two volumes the splendid recordings made by Louis Armstrong during his employment as a sideman in the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra. Obviously, and with immense satisfaction, we omitted all those sides in which, although Louis is present, he doesn't perform as a soloist , so boring and tedious were Mr Henderson's routines in those days. ~ from Linear Notes
This CD contains the best recordings from the early years of the fiery trumpeter Roy Eldridge. Eldridge, one of the great swing trumpeters and a powerful player into the 1970s, is heard with Teddy Hill's orchestra, backing singer Putney Dandridge, on four titles with Fletcher Henderson (including the hit "Christopher Columbus"), starring on a four-song session with Teddy Wilson, joining Billie Holiday on "Falling in Love Again," soloing on two numbers with Mildred Bailey (his "I'm Nobody's Baby" solo is years ahead of its time), and, best of all, leading a small group through six songs (plus an alternate) from his own explosive sessions of January 1937. This brilliant music is essential for all serious jazz collections.