Recording information: Carnegie Hall, New York, NY (04/27/1927-02/??/1977); Chicago, IL (04/27/1927-02/??/1977); Hollywood, CA (04/27/1927-02/??/1977); New York, NY (04/27/1927-02/??/1977).
While the title alone would seem to invite criticism, it's a justified tag, as this 20-track collection rounds up some pretty serious contenders. Kicking off with Glenn Miller's "Chattanooga Choo Choo," Benny Goodman's "Stompin' at the Savoy," and Duke Ellington's "Take the 'A' Train," the set includes signature tunes from Woody Herman, Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Erskine Hawkins, Charlie Barnet, and Buddy Rich. Maybe it's not the only big-band CD you'll ever need, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a better one to start your collection with. ~ Cub Koda