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Mills Blue Rhythm Band

This fine big band was originally formed by drummer Willie Lynch as the Blue Rhythm Band in 1930 and as the Coconut Grove Orchestra, provided backup to Louis Armstrong on some records. In 1931, Irving Mills became their manager and the group was renamed the Mills Blue Rhythm Band. Lynch's departure later that year resulted in Baron Lee fronting the band until Lucky Millinder took over in 1934. The big band recorded frequently during 1931-1937 (all of the recordings have been reissued on five Classics CDs) and, although the orchestra never really caught on or developed its own personality, its recordings did document many fine performances. Among the sidemen were pianist Edgar Hayes, altoist Charlie Holmes, Joe Garland on tenor, drummer O'Neil Spencer, and by 1934, trumpeter Red Allen, trombonist J.C. Higginbotham, and clarinetist Benny Bailey. Later editions included altoist Tab Smith, pianist Billy Kyle, and trumpeters Charlie Shavers and Harry "Sweets" Edison. When the group broke up in 1938, Lucky Millinder formed his own big band. ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Very Best Of The Mills Blue Rhythm Band

1. Let's Have A Jubilee

2. African Lullaby

3. Merry-Go-Round

4. E Flat Stride

5. Tallahassee

6. Swingin' In 'E' Flat

7. Big John Special

8. Yes! Yes!

9. There's Rhythm In Harlem

10. Keep The Rhythm Going

11. Callin' Your Bluff

12. Balloonacy

13. Truckin'

14. Barrel House

15. Dancing Dogs

16. Harlem Heat

x

Track List: They Satisfy

1. They Satisfy

2. Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone

3. Straddle The Fence

4. Levee Low Down

5. Moanin'

6. Minnie The Moocher

7. Blue Rhythm

8. Blue Flame

9. Red Devil

10. Star Dust

11. Minnie The Moocher

12. Black And Tan Fantasy

13. Savage Rhythm

14. I'm Sorry I Made You Blue

15. Every Time I Look At You

16. Snake Hips

x

Track List: Mills Blue Rhythm Band: 1933-1936

Disc 1

1. Drop Me Off In Harlem

2. Reaching For The Cotton Moon

3. Love Is The Thing

4. The Stuff Is Here (And It's Mellow)

5. The Growl

6. Swingin' In E Flat

7. Let's Have A Jubilee

8. Out Of A Dream

9. African Lullaby

10. Solitude

11. Dancing Dogs

12. Love's Serenade

13. Keep The Rhythm Going

14. Like A Bolt From The Blue

15. Blue Interlude

16. A Rainbow Filled With Music

17. Devil In The Moon

18. Back Beats

19. Spitfire

20. Brown Sugar Mine

21. Ride Red Ride

22. Harlem Heat

23. Once To Every Heart

24. Congo Caravan

25. There's Rhythm In Harlem

26. Tallahassee

Disc 2

1. Waiting In The Garden

2. Dinah Lou

3. Cotton

4. Truckin'

5. Blue Mood

6. E Flat Stride

7. Broken Dreams Of You

8. Yes! Yes!

9. Shoe Shine Boy

10. Midnight Ramble

11. Red Rhythm

12. Everything Is Still Okay

13. Jes' Natch'ully Lazy

14. St. Louis Wiggle Rhythm

15. Merry-Go-Round

16. It Will Have To Do Until The Real Thing Comes Along

17. In A Sentimental Mood

18. Carry Me Back To Green Pastures

19. Balloonacy

20. Barrelhouse

21. The Moon Is Grinning At Me

22. Showboat Shuffle

23. Big John's Special

24. Mr. Ghost Goes To Town

25. Callin' Your Bluff

26. Algiers Stomp

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