With a hugely successful career stretching back into the fifties, James Last has proved himself to be one of the greatest entertainers in the world of music. The James Last Orchestra is the most successful big band in chart history and they have sold in excess of 50 million albums worldwide. This spectacular show was filmed in high definition at London's Royal Albert Hall on James Last's 2007 tour and captures the James Last Orchestra at the top of their game in front of a wildly enthusiastic sold out crowd who fervently believe in audience participation.
Juanita Hall is best-known for being a stage actress, playing Bloody Mary in South Pacific. However on this 1958 set for Counterpoint, she shows that she could effectively sing blues. Mostly sticking to songs from the Bessie Smith songbook (including "You've Been a Good Old Wagon," "Gimme a Pigfoot" and "Nobody Wants You When You're Down and Out"), Hall's extroverted and shouting style fit the music quite well. Pianist Claude Hopkins arranged for the sextet and gathered quite an all-star backup group that includes tenor-saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, clarinetist Buster Bailey and trumpeter Doc Cheatham. Well worth getting.