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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby




Blue Classic

TOMMY DORSEY

and his Orchestra

PORTRAIT

BLUE Classic saban crescendo 7273

 

  1. Drumology
  2. The Continental
  3. Puddle Wump
  4. Pussy Willow
  5. The Hucklebuck
  6. Summertime
  7. I Get a kick Out Of You
  8. Comin’ Through the Rye
  9. Birmingham Bounce
  10. The Song is You
  11. Come Rain or Come Shine
  12. Hollywood hat
  13. Then I’ll Be Happy
  14. Tom Foolery
  15. Bingo, Bango, Boffo
  16. At Sundown
  17. How are Things in Glocca Morra?
  18. Trombonology

These recordings were made between 1946 and 1950, they are not arranged in chronological order. Many of the tracks have Louis Bellson on drums, so there is never any doubt as to whether the band will swing. These are some of the most swinging tracks I have heard from the Tommy Dorsey Band, whose leader often preferred sweet to swing. On these selections the dynamics and general balance of the band are very good and the arrangements would represent quite a challenge to most bands around today. It all has a modern feel about it and you would not guess that all these tracks are at least 50 years old. Charley Shavers is for the most part the lead trumpet and he plays superbly throughout. Tommy Dorsey leads the bones with great style.

Shavers provides the vocal on The Hucklebuck, before playing an excellent trumpet solo, this is the second solo feature, Louis Bellson is featured on track 1. There is a good arrangement of Summertime, on which the whole band swings easily and pleasantly. On I get a Kick Out of You, Buddy Rich takes over the drum chair and Dorsey plays the first part of the melody, which is taken up by the excellent trombone section. The trumpets on Comin’ Through the Rye include Doc Severinson and Billy Butterfield. The band is in fact very comparable to the Ted Heath Band of the period, which is a back handed complement to the Heath Band! Birmingham Bounce features the trumpets with Shavers back in the lead chair and a good tenor solo from Boomie Richmond, Shavers again handles the vocal and the high notes!

The Song is You is taken at mid-tempo, on this track Ziggy Elman has joined the trumpets and Buddy De Franco the saxes, both have short features. Arranger and pianist Sy Oliver takes the vocal on Come Rain or Come Shine. The next 4 tracks all come from the April 1946 session, all are well played and contain more interesting solos, Shavers is outstanding throughout and Alvin Stoller proves that he can swing the band as well. Many of the arrangements have the Bill Finnegan feel about them, but there are no credits to him in the sleeve. The last track Trombology is a tremendously impressive bone solo, presumable from the leader,

For big band fans this is a very impressive album at a low price and I recommend it without any reservation.

Don Mather

 



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