July 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Curio Corner

Compilation:
Glen Miller  
  BLUEBIRD 09026 63900 2   [50:23]

Crotchet

Glenn Miller

[ The American bandleader and composer, Glenn Miller appeared in two films in 1942 - Orchestra Wives and Sun Valley Serenade . He was impersonated by James Stewart in The Glenn Miller Story released by Universal in 1953.]

This is a first rate album recording and it left me wondering how much further Miller would have gone if he hadn't disappeared that night over the channel during the last world war.

From first classic track 'American Patrol', sweet and snappy, through to the last 'Anchors Aweigh', so redolent of the wartime spirit that eventually swept through the US, the music bursts onto the senses and is quite spectacular.

It's incredible to believe that all these recordings were made in such a short period of time; 1939 to 1942. What an impact Miller made, then and still now.

'In the Mood' and 'Tuxedo Junction', which Miller complemented with the services of an Army Air Force band, are my favourite tracks, and probably many other people's too. These recordings bring out the very best in them - so authentic.

'Sleepy Town Train' and 'I Got Rhythm' are doleful and bluesy, and make you feel like your in the same room as Miller and the band. The best swing tracks on this album are 'Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee' and 'American Patrol'; don't know exactly why, but it's something to do with the era in which they were recorded and the hope and joy they must have brought to those packed music halls.

Miller was a fantastic talent and could have gone on to greatness. Instead, because of his early 'departure', perhaps onboard a ghostly 'Chattanooga Choo Choo' of his own, he has past into swing legend. This album is testament to that talent.

Jonathan Clark

*****

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