2 LPs on 1 CD: BUNNY BERIGAN/BUNNY BERIGAN & HIS BOYS.
Personnel: Bunny Berigan (vocals, trumpet); Bunny Berigan; Gail Reese (vocals); Dick Wharton, Allan Reuss (guitar); Gus Bivona, George Bohn, Henry Saltman, Henry Freeman, Mike Doty, Frank Langone, Murray Williams, Clyde Rounds, Don Lodice, Larry Walsh (saxophone); Irving Goodman, Steve Lipkins, Cliff Natalie, Johnny Napton, George Johnston (trumpet); Sonny Lee, Ford Leary, Frank D'Annolfo, Nat Lobovsky, Al George, Ray Conniff, Bob Jenney (trombone); Joe Lippman Orchestra, Graham Forbes, Joe Bushkin, Joe Lippman (piano); Arnold Fishkind (upright bass); Eddie Jenkins, George Wettling, Johnny Blowers (drums); Tom Morgan (guitar); Georgie Auld (saxophone); Buddy Rich (drums).
Recording information: 04/25/1935-03/15/1939.
Arranger: Matty Matlock.
This set from Collectables Records combines the LPs Bunny, originally released in 1959 on Camden Records, and Bunny Berigan and His Boys, originally released in 1960 by Epic Records, on one disc. Both of the LPs were drawn from mono 78s Berigan cut in the '30s, so the sound reflects the source and there is a fair amount of needle wear and noise on a few of the tracks. That said, this reissue works fairly well as an introduction to Berigan's work as a bandleader, although there is obviously a whole lot more to the story. As if to make his best-known piece, "I Can't Get Started," particularly ironic, Bunny Berigan's heavy drinking and fast-paced lifestyle cut his life short in 1942 when he was only 33 years old, and all told, the swing trumpeter's recorded legacy doesn't even span a decade. Still, his incredible range on the instrument and his always beautiful tone have given him a deserved spot as one of the greatest trumpet players in the history of jazz. A small part of that legacy is here. ~ Steve Leggett