This second volume in the Tommy Dorsey chronology contains nine performances by Tommy Dorsey & His Clambake Seven, an ensemble that feels at times like the antidote to the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. The Clambake Seven, you see, was more of a real jazz ensemble, while the big band often served mainly as a jazz-inflected vehicle for backing up pop vocalists. Edythe Wright was generally more energetic, substantial, and interesting than Dorsey's drawling drones Jack Leonard and Buddy Gately, both standard-issue crooners with about as much personal warmth as catsup and gelatin. Edythe Wright could spice up most any pop tune, and interjected lots of clever remarks in the manner of Fats Waller, Cab Calloway, or Louis Armstrong. Sounding at times merely like a white girl trying to be hip, she nevertheless interacted quite well with the soloists and helped to loosen up a potentially uptight atmosphere even when engaging in formulaic behavior such as carefully exclaiming "my, my!" at the end of a song. She was at her best during "The Music Goes 'Round and Around," which offers a rare opportunity to hear the rather squeaky speaking voice of Sterling Bose, a magnificent trumpeter who appeared steadily with Dorsey's large and small groups until he was more or less replaced by Max Kaminsky in March of 1936, which is when Dave Tough came aboard. Tommy Dorsey was adept at taking other peoples' musical ideas and turning them into lucrative hits. Case in point: "The Music Goes 'Round and Around" was composed by Mike Riley and Eddie Farley, who recorded it with their own orchestra only six weeks prior to the version heard here. Tommy Dorsey made the real money off of this cute little novelty tune.
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