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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Swingin' High - Francis Bay

Rusty Dusty Blues
Swingin' High
With The Bay Big Band
Conducted by Francis Bay
Featuring Compositions of Count Basie, Lester Young, Harry Edison and others
Recorded at The Brussels World Fair
Artistic Direction: Peter Plum, Elite Musical Productions
Produced by Dave Hubert
Product Design by Leon Mc Fadden
Cover Photography by Ray Avery
Liner Notes: Cy Schneider
Omega OSL 26

Armand Van De Walle: Drums
Freddy Saunder: Guitar
Francis L'Eglise, Jef Verhaegen, Benny Courdyer, Pres Creado and Guy Dossche: Saxophones
Jean Evans: Piano
Clement De Mayer: Bass
Edmond Harnie, Louis De Haes, Charlie Knegtel, Jean Cortois: Trumpets
Albert Merteng and Paul Annee: Tombones

The somewhat budget Omega label did release a number of packages that featured creative cover design. This example offers us a photo of the Atomium, a giant model of a unit cell of an iron crystal from The 1958 Brussels World's Fair (Expo 58). The set, itself, is one of Bay's swinging best for Omega.

From the back cover: The Bay Big Band salutes to the great American and English big bands at the Brussels World's Fair astounded and impressed all who heard their regular performances at the fair. Francis Bay, the leader and an extremely versatile musician and arranger, organized the Bay Big Band in 1954 to become the first regular Radio Dance Band after the end of World War II. The Bay Big Band recently won the highly coveted "Golden Gondol" trophy in a battle of the bands at Venice, Italy. the precision section work and fluid jazz improvisation of the soloists are a product of years of rehearsal and development shared by the same group of musicians without the constant changes in sidemen that have plagued our American bands in recent years. The musical rapport between sections of the band and between soloists is amazing. Francis Bay plays trombone, clarinet, alto saxophone and flute with equal ability and his regular programs on the Brussels N.I.R. Radio conceived by program manager Bob Boon can be heard weekly on the powerful station throughout England, France, Belgium and surrounding countries. – Dave Hubert

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The Mad Boogie
Fiesta In Blue
Taps Miller
Lady Be Good

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