Ambrose

Glamour of the Thirties

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AllMusic Review by

This is one of the more satisfying Ambrose compilations. Covering a period of 1934-1939, the disc generously contains three instrumentals, the most startling of which is a high-stepping version of "Man About Town," recorded in 1939 and never issued in the era of 78s. Sid Phillips' advanced arrangement "Wood and Ivory" is also included to show off the Ambrose organization's prowess as a jazz orchestra. The rest of the tracks contain vocal choruses, performed by Jack Cooper, Max Bacon, Sam Browne, Elsie Carlisle, and the Rhythm Sisters. The redoubtable Evelyn Dall is heard on only one track, but it's a good one -- "Wotcha Got a Trombone For?" Elsie Carlisle and Sam Browne join in on a surprisingly acrimonious duo, "I'm Gonna Wash My Hands of You," and Carlisle proves charming in another "don't mind him, he's just my husband" type of number, "Home James and Don't Spare the Horses." "La Cucaracha" as sung by Sam Browne is high camp, although it does show off the Ambrose orchestra's command of Latin rhythms.

There is really only one certifiable dog in this whole collection, "Stay as Sweet as You Are," sung by Browne, which is merely guilty of being mediocre rather than altogether poor. If you are on the lookout for a good Ambrose compilation, you can't go wrong with this, although it is still not the "perfect" representation of the efforts of Bert Ambrose. The sound is very good, has excellent top end, and is one of the clearest and most noise-free releases this reviewer has heard from Pavilion.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:27
2 2:34
3 3:10
4 2:12
5 2:46
6 2:55
7 2:26
8 3:06
9 2:56
10
2:56
11
2:55
12 3:05
13 3:10
14 3:02
15 2:39
16 3:05
17
3:07
18 2:57
19 2:21
20 2:55
21 3:09
22 2:47
blue highlight denotes track pick