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

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& the WDR Dance Orchestra
CPO Records cpo 777 282-2




CD1 Standards made in USA

1. These Foolish Things
2. I Didnít Know What Time it Was
3. Do You Know the Way to San Jose?
4. Sophisticated Lady
5. The Way You Look Tonight
6. What is This Thing Called Love?
7. September Song
8. The Darktown Struttersí Ball
9. Embraceable You
10. The Last Time I Saw Paris
11. Iíll Remember April
12. Somebody Loves Me
13. Lullaby in Rhythm
14. Lazy River
15. Temptation
16. Tea for Two
17. That Old Feeling
18. Iíll Close My Eyes
19. Guilty
20. Red Sails in the Sunset
21. Carry Me Back to Old Virginny
22. The Song is Ended.
CD2 German Evergreens

1. Bel Ami
2. Vagabundenlied
3. Illusion
4. Haben Sie Schon Mal Im Dunkeln Gekusst
5. Schenk Deiner Frau Doch Hin und Wieter Rote Rosen
6. Ich Tanze Mit Dir in Den Himmel Hinein
7. Die Nacht ist Nicht Allein zum Schlafen Da
8. Das Karussell
9. Es War einmal eine Liebe
10. Die Manner Sind Schon Die Liebe Wert
11. Du und Ich im Mondenschein
12. Zwei Rote Rosen, Ein Zarter Kuss
13. Was Du Mir Erzahlt Hast Von Lieb und Treu
14. Tango Notturno
15. Nachts Ging das Telefon
16. Wenn Die Sonne Hinter Den Dachern Versinkt
17. Mein Herz Hat Heut Premiere
18. In Hamburg Sind Die Nachte Lang
19. Hallo Kleines Fraulein
20. Ich Stehí im Regen
21. Auf Den Flugeln Bunter Traume
22. Bie Dir War es Immer so Schon.

These recordings were made during the late seventies and early eighties, a period when Big Band music was not at the height of its popularity. The Kurt Edelhagen Band was Germanyís leading band for a long time and these recordings demonstrate the precision that the band played with. It also had some outstanding soloists, who are not identified in the sleeve notes. Possibly the trombone player is Jiggs Whiggam and there is also a clarinet player with a wonderful tone. 

Everything the band plays is very neat and tidy: the sound of a well drilled and rehearsed group of top-class musicians. The arrangements sometimes lack a little in excitement, but I found listening to them a very pleasant experience. You feel you are hearing quality musicianship. Personally I would have preferred an acoustic piano; it would seem to me to fit in better with the style of music being played, but this is a minor criticism. 

Big Bands hung on with German broadcasting stations much longer than they did in the UK. It seems such a shame that the BBC does not have a single Big Band in its employment and it has not had for a long time!  

It was interesting that track one of the German evergreens turned out to be So Do I, but that was the only one of the tunes on the second CD that I had heard before. The melodies are very attractive, however, and the arrangements and the playing are of the same high standard as in the first CD.

I am pleased to have a recording of this fine orchestra in my collection. How would you categorise this music? It is high-quality dance music with a jazz feel. 

Don Mather




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