Hindsight Records has put out more than its share of superior, even excellent CDs of 1940s radio transcription performances, but this three-disc set is special even in that company. The Jubilee radio show was an Armed Forces broadcast aimed at black military personnel around the world, and was aired from 1942 through 1953 in that format. The participants included most of the top talent of the period, among them Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Carter, Earl "Fatha" Hines and his orchestra, Cootie Williams, Jimmy Mundy, Billy Eckstine, the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, and Jimmy Lunceford & His Harlem Express, playing the numbers that their black audiences wanted to hear. Everything on this set moves from strength to strength, with no let up -- Benny Carter and his orchestra kick things off with a hot rendition of "Sweet Georgia Brown," featuring a killer performance on drums by a young Max Roach, followed by "Habanera," a jazzed-up bit of Carmen on which the trumpets and saxes romp and stomp all over Bizet, and the "Jubilee Jump," which offers a hot guitar solo from Herman Mitchell amid the showcasing of the reeds and horns; Earl "Fatha" Hines leads a brisk rendition of "Stomping at the Savoy" highlighted by a dazzling performance on vibraphone by Bill Thompson, while Hines's piano is at the elegant, lyrical center of "Rosetta." Along with the established legends in the middle of their careers, such as Basie and Ellington, this set is also a showcase for talent that was just starting to emerge, such as trumpet man Gerald Wilson and future rock & roll/R&B legend Johnny Otis (the only white artist on this set), veteran arrangers like Jimmy Mundy, performing ensembles of the period such as the all-female International Sweethearts of Rhythm, and local musical figures from Los Angeles such as Elmer Fain. Considering that much of this material was cut during the infamous recording bans imposed by the musicians union and offered repertory that the record labels often overlooked, it's a unique look even at the talents who recorded extensively -- just the performance by Jo Jones at the drums on the five Count Basie numbers on disc one makes them worth hearing, and the whole band is in top form, as is singer Jimmy Rushing. Multi-artist sets of this kind sometimes seem like too much of a pastiche, but this set is more in the category of a huge, multi-course musical feast. Moreover, the sources for the material contained are all in very good shape, showing signs of minimal processing and all sounding very natural and close, so there are no apologies to be made on a technical level, apart from perhaps a tiny bit more bassiness than one is used to. The producers have also done us a service by including the introductions to each group, which go a long way toward capturing the pace, spirit, and ambience of the time in which these sides were cut and the audience toward whom they were directed.