Swing era arranger Jimmy Mundy (1907-1983) began his career playing saxophone in several bands in the 1920s. At the beginning of the following decade he joined Earl Hines and it was with this orchestra that he first became interested in arranging. One of the tunes Mundy worked on was Cavernism, which became Hines's closing theme.
From Hines, Mundy moved on to Benny Goodman, where he arranged some of that band's most famous numbers, including Sing, Sing, Sing, Solo Flight and Springtime in the Rockies. Others he arranged for included Count Basie and Gene Krupa.
Although Mundy was highly recorded by his fellow musicians he never became well known to the general public and made few recordings under his own name. But he did manage a brace of albums for the Epic label, On a Mundy Flight (1958) and Playing the Numbers (1959).
For the latter LP all the selections referred to numbers in their titles, like the opener Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?, a Depression-era number from 1932. Bing Crosby, Rudy Vallee and Al Jolson all had hits with the song after it appeared in the musical Americana.
Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?
Unfortunately, none of the musicians on this excellent big band recording are identified. Mundy had given up his instrument some years earlier and was concentrating on arranging and conducting when this was recorded.
Neither of his Epic albums has received a digital release.
Here's a recording Jimmy Mundy and His Orchestra did for V-Disc in 1946. V-Discs were 12-inch 78 r.p.m. discs that were made available to U.S. military personnel serving overseas in World War II. These recordings were not sold in the United States. Production of V-Discs ended in 1949.
This video also includes a selection by Buddy Rich.