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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: An Anthology Of Big Band Swing (1930-1955)

Disc 1

1. Rockin' In Rhythm

2. House Of David Blues

3. Saratoga Drag

4. Savage Rhythm

5. Chant Of The Weed

6. St. Louis Blues

8. Down South Camp Meeting

9. Avalon

11. The Darktown Strutter's Ball

12. Polka Dot Rag

13. Stompin' At The Savoy

14. Peg O' My Heart

15. One O'Clock Jump

16. Casa Loma Stomp

17. South Rampart Street Parade

18. Liza

19. Dunkin' A Doughnut

20. You Rascal, You

Disc 2

1. Panassie Stomp

3. Jamaica Jam

4. Okay For Baby

5. Blues In The Groove

6. Murderistic

7. Swingmatism

8. Savoy

9. Blue River

10. Chicago

11. Fish Market

12. Gambler's Blues

13. I've Got You Under My Skin

14. Skyliner

15. Million Dollar Smile

16. Midriff

17. Bear Mash Blues

18. The Continental

19. The Blue Room

20. One O'Clock Jump

x

Track List: Flashbacks, Vol. 1 - High & Low Drug Songs

1. That Cat Is High

2. Junker's Blues

3. Who Put The Benzedrine In Mrs. Murphys Ovaltine

4. Don't You Make Me High

5. I'm Wild About My Stuff

6. You're A Viper

7. Selling That Stuff

8. Moonshine Man Blues

10. Minnie The Moochers Wedding Day

11. The Ghost Of Smokey Joe

13. Dope Head Blues

15. Fixin' To Die Blues

16. Cocaine Habit Blues

17. Reefer Man

18. Cocaine

19. Jake Walk Papa

20. Kickin' The Gong Around

23. Feeling High And Happy

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