Harry James: Mona Lisa


Harry James came close to opening my skull when I suggested to him that some of his records were “commercial”. I wish he and I could listen together to the title track! James was a great virtuoso and a wonderful jazz musician so there is much powerful soloing by him and some of it is very good jazz. The album is aimed squarely at completists. There’s a “necrology” that tells you when everyone died.

Great band but most of this, Harry, if not “commercial,” isn’t worth you coming back for. Harry left Columbia because Mitch Miller “wanted me to do some real corny things”. Really?

The James Band on Columbia in 1949-53 with Buddy Rich, Frank Sinatra and sundry vocalists, a couple of vocal group and strings.
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