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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



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Crotchet

'S WONDERFUL
Songs of
George Gershwin

Naxos Nostalgia 8.120828

 


  1. I’ll build a Stairway to Paradise = Paul Whiteman’s Ork.
  2. Swanee - Al Jolson
  3. Fascinating Rhythm - Cliff Edwards (Ukulele Ike)
  4. Someone to Watch Over Me - Gertrude Lawrence
  5. Oh Kay! Medley - Edgar Fairchild & Ralph Rainger
  6. ‘Wonderful - Ernie Golden with Vaughan De Leath
  7. The Man I Love - Marion Harris
  8. Liza - Al Johnson
  9. Strike Up the Band - The Revellers
  10. I Got Rhythm - Ethel Merman
  11. Embraceable You - Judy Garland
  12. Bidin’ My Time - The Foursome
  13. My Cousin in Milwaukee - Lyda Roberti
  14. Mine - Bing Crosby & Judy Garland
  15. It Ain’t Necessarily So - Guy Lombardo
  16. Summertime - Mabel Mercer
  17. Nice Work If You Can Get it - Billie Holiday
  18. Love Walked In - Kenny Baker
  19. They Can’t Take That Away From Me - Fred Astaire
  20. Rhapsody in Blue - Jack Hylton’s Ork. with Alec Templeton.

Twenty tunes and not a poor one amongst them! George Gershwin died unexpectedly from a brain tumour in 1937 at the age of 38 and yet his tunes are heard regularly today some 69 years later. He must surely rank as one of the elite of the writers of the classic American Song Book, his skills coupled with those of brother Ira who wrote such quirky and delightful lyrics are in a class beyond compare. I fully expect his tunes will be played in another 69 years time because they’re of such quality.

Unfortunately the performances on this do not reach the standard of the musical compositions, even July Garland sounds uninspired, which is unusual. Fortunately there is one little gem, Billie Holliday with Teddy Wilson’s Orchestra on track 17, give us something worthy of the Gershwin genius. The leaders piano playing is immaculate as always, just a pity we had only one chorus from Billie. Apart from track 14 with Bing & Judy Garland the rest of the fare is not to my taste.

Don Mather



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