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



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RAY NOBLE

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HIS AMERICAN ORCHESTRA

LIVING ERA CD AJA 5535

 

 

    1. Way Down Yonder in New Orleans
    2. Paris in the Spring
    3. Top Hat, White Tie & Tails
    4. The Touch of Your Lips
    5. Big Chief De Sota
    6. Iíve Got You Under My Skin
    7. Slumming on Park Avenue
    8. Iíve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm
    9. Nice Work if You Can Get It
    10. You Couldnít Be Cuter
    11. I Hadnít Anyone Till You
    12. Crazy Rhythm
    13. Change Partners
    14. Cherokee
    15. Comanche War dance
    16. Iroquois
    17. Seminole
    18. Sioux Sue
    19. By the Waters of Minnetonka
    20. Friday at the Hartys
    21. Saturday Night at the Nobles
    22. By the Light of the Silvery Moon
    23. Oakland to Burbank
    24. Harlem Nocturne
    25. Suspicion!
    26. Goodnight, Sweetheart

No doubt this record should have been in the Nostalgia section, but as the band included musicians such as Charlie Spivak, Glenn Miller and Bud Freeman, it sneaked into the jazz section. Truthfully there is not a lot of jazz to be found anywhere, but the precision playing is very good. Noble who was born in Sussex, England in 1903 played piano, he was also a skilled composer and arranger. Many of his tunes are regularly played today, including The Touch of Your Lips, I Hadnít Anyone but You and Cherokee, which are all included on this album. Readers will also note that many of the other tunes are regularly played standards, by other composers.

The band heard on the record was assembled by Glenn Miller for Noble to front, he was portrayed to the US market as a rather silly upper class Englishman and they loved him! It was a truly high quality musical outfit however and the musicians used were top class session men.

The sound quality, considering the age of these items is remarkable Martin Haskell and David Lennick have done a remarkable job for LIVING ERA and whilst the arrangements are dated, they are brilliantly played. The compilation by Ray Crick and David Lennick is also very good and although this is not my favourite era of music, my interest was sustained throughout. Various vocalists are heard Al Bowlly on earlier tracks as well as The Merry Macs, Howard Phillips, Fred Astaire and Noble himself.

I enjoyed hearing the Indian Suite, only Cherokee is heard today, but the other four themes are too good to be neglected. Cherokee is of course one of the great jazz standard tunes.

Living Era have done lovers of music from 1935 to 1941 a great favour with this release, it also demonstrates how sophisticated the playing of top class professionals was at that time.

Don Mather

 

 



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