Jimmy Dorsey

The Complete Standard Transcriptions

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Seventeen radio transcription recordings made by Jimmy Dorsey around 1949, and particularly priceless as studio documents by a band that hardly ever had a chance to record. The vocalists are Claire Hogan and Larry Noble, taking over for Helen O'Connell and Bob Eberly, respectively, on such classics as "Tangerine" and "Green Eyes," both of which are handled in a slower -- and, in this reviewer's outlook, more successful -- tempo than the originals. "All of Me" gets a gorgeous alto sax solo from Dorsey himself. A lot of the rest of the repertory includes the band's versions of such contemporary compositions as "Some Enchanted Evening" from the then new musical South Pacific. Charlie Teagarden, Herb Winfield, and pianist Al Waslohn all get their good solo moments as well, in what was a surprisingly fresh and lively-sounding band (with Carl Kress on the guitar and Ray Bauduc at the drums). If the audience for big band music was declining, you'd never know that the music was on the ropes by 1949 from the bright and spirited playing on these sides. Additionally, sound quality is a major virtue on these tracks -- they compare favorably, in fidelity and volume, with any 1949-vintage recordings that one cares to name, all apparently drawn from clean, or carefully cleaned up, sources. The disc concludes with an extended May 1956 interview with Jimmy Dorsey, 13 months before his death, in which he addresses a multitude of subjects concerning his career, including his past disputes with his brother and the 1947 biographical film in which they both participated.

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