Tommy Dorsey: Jammin'
Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra
Stop, Look & Listen (RCA Victor 66792-2)
Joe Bauer, Andy Ferretti (trumpets); Les Jenkins, Red Bone (trombones); Johnny Mince (clarinet, alto sax); Fred Stulce, Mike Doty (alto saxophone), Dick Jones (piano), Carmen Mastren (guitar), Gene Traxler (string bass), Edythe Wright (vocal).
Recorded: New York, March 17, 1937
Rating: 85/100 (learn more)
“Jammin’,” an undeservedly obscure offering from Dorsey’s pre-Sy Oliver band, opens compellingly with Dorsey’s gruff, hot tone essaying the workmanlike melody. He is answered after eight measures by an extremely compact-sounding ensemble highlighted by a clarinet-led sax section, lending the kind of attractive reed countermelodies common to Bob Crosby’s and (a few years later) Jack Teagarden’s orchestras. Wright chants the rather silly lyric with flatfooted charm, aided and abetted by Dave Tough’s outstanding drumming. The clincher is the third chorus where Dorsey’s band within, the Clambake Seven, takes over, building to a marvelous peak sparked by Tough and the arm-swinging bass of Gene Traxler. The full ensemble, back for the final chorus, returns us to that peak again before nearly screeching to a halt, bringing “Jammin’ and the listener to a well-earned rest.
Reviewer: David Sager