Tony Pastor and His Orchestra

It was fellow swing DJ and vinyl freak Jonas from Göteborg who opened my eyes to the great swinging instrumentals of Tony Pastor. (Check out Jonas' nice rip of 'Little Colonel' on YouTube.) Previously I had mainly thought of Pastor as a novelty singer (point in case: 'One Meat Ball') with the occasional good instrumental. He played reeds and sang in Artie Shaw's greatest orchestra between 1936 and 1939. He then started his own big band in 1940, which lasted for more than two decades.

The two songs featured here come from a Thesaurus transcription session in 1940, which has many good instrumentals. Both songs are quite similar in style and tempo, and they remind me a lot of Bunny Berigan's great recording of 'Ay Ay Ay' from 1939.

Discographical data from Tom Lord's The Jazz Discography:

Tony Pastor And His Orchestra: prob. pers. Sam Shapiro, Irving Berger, Bill Robbins, Charles Trotta (tp) Henry Singer, Bill Abel, Russell Brown (tb) Johnny McAfee (cl,as) Hank Freeman (cl,as) Tony Pastor (ts) Stuart Anderson, Robert Taylor (ts) Les Burness (p) Frank Isnardi (g) Marvin Wittstein (b) Johnny Morris (d)

Thesaurus transcriptions, New York, October, 1940
    Phantom in the dark 

LP source: Tony Pastor and His Orchestra - Just for Kicks (Big Band Archives LP-1210)