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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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THE GLENN MILLER
ORCHESTRA

Plays the Music of Harold Arlen
and Irving Berlin

Sounds of Yester Year DSOY 833

 

 


Glenn Miller Orchestra
1. Change Partners
2. Marie/Blue Skies
3. Back to Back
4. Outside of That I Love You
5. When the Man is Dead and Gone
6. A Little Old Church in England
7. At the President's Birthday Ball
8. Angels of Mercy
9. Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee
10. How Deep is the Ocean
11. I Left My Heart at the Stage Door Canteen

Glenn Miller Army Air Forces Band
12. With My Head in the Clouds
13. White Christmas
14. Alexander's Ragtime Band
15. Easter Parade

Glenn Miller Orchestra
16. Ding, Dong! The Witch is Dead
17. Over the Rainbow
18. Says Who, Says You, Says I
19. This Time the Dream's on Me
20. Blues in the Night
21. That Old Black Magic

Glenn Miller Army Air Forces Band
1. Stormy Weather
2. Now I Know
3. Get Happy
4. Accentuate the Positive

Tex Beneke and the Glenn Miller Orchestra
5. Come Rain or Come Shine
6. Over the Rainbow
7. Blues in the Night March

 

This is an interesting Glenn Miller collection; the classic Miller style is evident throughout. Recorded between 1938 and 1949, these tracks represent material that was probably only available previously on 78 rpm records. As you would expect, every band that Glenn was associated with was full of top-class musicians: he would tolerate nothing less. There are also vocals from Ray Eberle, Dorothy Claire. Garry Stevens, Tony Martin, Johnny Desmond, Skip Nelson, plus Lillian Lane and the Modernaires, who were a sensational vocal group at that time. None of the individual vocalists was sensational but all were very competent. Tex Beneke is also heard on vocals as well as occupying the tenor sax chair and as MD on some sessions after Miller's death.

I would rate both Irving Berlin and Harold Arlen very highly as composers, but on this particular album it is Harold Arlen who has the strongest songs. Many of the Berlin songs sound like they were put together for some special occasion and were never heard of again till now!

I was not aware that the competing big bands over this period were given to releasing cover versions of one another's hits, but the interesting sleeve-note by Michael Highton points to evidence of this, which is illustrated by the album's content.

To Miller fans, and there are still a lot of them, this CD should prove a welcome addition to their collection of their favourite music.

Don Mather



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