American song composer and lyricist, Hoagy Carmichael's laid back, slow-speaking
manner and calming personality illuminated a number of films in 1940s and 50s.
As an actor he was usually cast in light supporting roles and was most often
seen singing at the piano. His film appearances included: Canyon Passage,
The Best Years of Our Lives (probably his best remembered role),
Young Man with a Horn, Belles on their Toes and Timberjack. He also
appeared in the TV series, Laramie.
Probably his best known songs are: Stardust (of which some
1,300 recorded versions are known ) and In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening
which gained him an Academy Award in 1951. Inexplicably the latter is not included in this compilation.
The wonderful Stardust is, and Hoagy delivers its lovely lyrics most
Hoagy Carmichael was a master of improvisation. The period that is represented
on this album was, perhaps, the most exciting time in the history of jazz and
ragtime and Carmichael was one of its leading lights.
This compilation of 21 songs includes many Carmichael favourites. I would
mention only a few. The title song Mr Music Master has Hoagy's lazy voiced
boogie-woogie rhythmic, foot-tapping style and his lyrics are clear as a bell.
Georgia on My Mind is wistful and bluesy with a good full orchestration.
Hoagie's tongue-in-cheek delivery of witty lyrics and Billy May's big band sound
lifts A Man Could Be a Wonderful Thing. I Can't get Started
by Vernon Duke and Ira Gershwin has a lovely melody with an equally attractive
orchestration. My own favourite is Hoagy's inimitable way with Ol' Buttermilk
Sky, the Canyon Passage song that received an Oscar nomination.
A really enjoyable compilation. The songs might often be corny the lyrics
sometimes, O.T.T., but they are pearls of a (sadly) by-gone age. Thank goodness
for albums like these; Mr Music master – yes sir!