Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra

1937, Vol. 2

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This sixth installment in the Tommy Dorsey chronology opens with Paul Weston's snappy big-band orchestration of "Humoresque" by Antonin Dvorák, including a quote from Stephen Foster's "Old Folks at Home," better known as "Swanee River." For the flip side of this Victor recording, guitarist Carmen Mastren fashioned a lovely arrangement of the famous theme from Dvorák's Symphony No. 9 in E Minor and casually rechristened it "Rollin' Home." Crooner Jack Leonard is featured on the next three titles, and although "You're Precious to Me" is one of his least insipid performances on record, it pales considerably when compared with Wingy Manone's soulful version. Relief arrives in a smokin' jam on W.C. Handy's "Beale Street Blues." This marvelous traditional jam scintillates with Dave Tough's cymbal work and the incredible warmth of Bud Freeman's tenor sax solo. Six sides recorded on June 12, 1937, by the Clambake Seven sustain the friendly mood with a succession of catchy studies in small-group swing with vocals by Edythe Wright. The party culminated with "Posin'," a slaphappy stop-action novelty singalong punctuated with abbreviated instrumental breaks by several of the band's star players, including Dave Tough, who was famous for his reluctance to take drum solos. Three fine big-band instrumentals were recorded at the same session: "That Stolen Melody" by Fred Fisher, "Barcarolle" by Jacques Offenbach, and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Hymn to the Sun." About one month later, Edythe Wright and Dorsey's Clambake Seven returned to the Victor recording studios to wax four swinging renditions of romantic Tin Pan Alley marzipans. The session concluded with two more Wright vocals backed by the big band and "Are All My Favorite Big Bands Playing or Am I Dreaming?," a hilariously bizarre pastiche of sound effects and cornball novelty licks accompanying Bud Freeman as he recites wistful lyrics in a theatrical British accent. Interestingly, this sounds a lot like a premonition of "The Wrong Idea," that ruthless send-up of big-band gimmickry that Charlie Barnet would record more than two years later during the autumn of 1939.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:22
2 3:28
3
2:48
4 2:46
5 2:37
6 3:15
7
feat: Tommy Dorsey
3:07
8
feat: Tommy Dorsey
2:41
9
feat: Tommy Dorsey
2:36
10
feat: Tommy Dorsey
2:51
11
feat: Tommy Dorsey
3:09
12
feat: Tommy Dorsey
2:35
13 2:38
14 2:52
15 2:38
16
feat: Tommy Dorsey
2:55
17
feat: Tommy Dorsey
2:59
18
feat: Tommy Dorsey
2:27
19
feat: Tommy Dorsey
2:28
20 2:49
21 3:15
22 2:26
blue highlight denotes track pick