Battle Hymn Of The Republic – 1983

Don Lusher and Kenny Baker

A rousing version of the song featuring two ofGreat Britain’s jazz greats

Kenny Baker (1921-99) was a top British swing trumpeter for over 50 years, starting in the early 1940s, and worked with the Ted Heath Orchestra. From the 1950s on, he frequently led a band called Baker’s Dozen.

Don Lusher (1923-2006) was a trombonist who also worked with Ted Heath (a band he led for a time after Heath’s death), performed in many orchestras, and was always a capable soloist.

Baker and Lusher crossed paths through the years, including appearing on a television show in 1983.

Their version of “Battle Hymn Of The Republic” (which Red Nichols had made famous in the jazz world when he started playing it regularly in the late 1940s and in the movie “The Five Pennies”) has a colorful arrangement, big band backing, and fine solos from both Baker and Lusher.

-Scott Yanow

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