Ray Conniff & His Orchestra

'S Wonderful!

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Ray Conniff had a solid career of big band arranging and conducting the orchestras backing Columbia Records' stable of '50s pop singers before he managed to get his name on a record himself. But that didn't prepare anybody for the success of this album, named after the Gershwin song he first arranged when he was working for Artie Shaw. Conniff updated the big band sound to the '50s, retaining its danceable tempos and building upon the unison section innovations of Glenn Miller, his own added idea being a vocal chorus that hummed and sang syllables as an extra part of the ensemble. Employing standards with familiar melodies, the imaginativeness of his work became all the more noticeable, and 'S Wonderful! became a substantial hit that kicked off a run of successful albums in the same style.

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