Bill Challis

Bill Challis and His Orchestra - More 1936

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The second of two LPs taken from 1936 radio transcriptions by a large orchestra headed by arranger Bill Challis has its moments. Challis' old chart of "Dardanella" (written for Paul Whiteman in the 1920s) is revived, and among the better numbers are "Riverboat Shuffle," "More Than You Know" and an early rendition of "Let's Face the Music and Dance." However, the top-notch orchestra mostly sticks to ensembles, and the focus is on dance music rather than jazz. Bea and the Bachelors (a vocal quartet with Bea Wain and Al Rinker) pop up on four of the twelve numbers. It seems strange that Bill Challis recorded so little as a leader through the decades, making this set of at least historic interest.