This fifth installment in the Classics Tommy Dorsey chronology presents recordings he made with the Dorsey Orchestra and the Clambake Seven during the spring of 1937. These ensembles benefited greatly from the presence of certain outstanding players. Bunny Berigan is heard on the first three tracks, but left the band soon thereafter to form his own orchestra. He would return briefly to work for Dorsey again in 1940. Speaking of brilliant musicians with tragically alcoholic temperaments, master percussionist Dave Tough stuck with this band for what was for him a remarkable stretch of uninterrupted professional involvement. Tommy Dorsey sold a lot of records during the mid- and late '30s. One thing hasn't changed very much since then: the public's interest in singers. Dorsey employed crooner Jack Leonard and a perky, interesting chanteuse named Edythe Wright, who seems to have had fun with the lyrics to "Jammin'," sounding almost as hip as Ivie Anderson. Instrumentally, this tune lives up to its name. Wright also did well with "The Milkman's Matinee," Dorsey's apparent attempt to elbow in on Charlie Barnet's turf. Bud Freeman, Pee Wee Erwin, and Johnny Mince turn in perfectly handsome solos on this curious number originally designed as a theme song for Stan Shaw's late-night radio show on WNEW. Dorsey also wisely chose to render a number of instrumentals to vary his recorded repertoire. Continuing to contribute to the popularity of European classical melodies arranged for jazz orchestra, he served up "Liebestraum" by Franz Liszt, Felix Mendelssohn's "Spring Song," and "Blue Danube" by Johann Strauss. Other intriguing performances heard here without vocalists are the popular Gypsy tune "Dark Eyes," "Twilight in Turkey" by Raymond Scott, "Nola" by Felix Arndt, and "Satan Takes a Holiday" by Larry Clinton. A delightfully warm and kicky "Stop, Look and Listen," representing one of the jazziest items in the entire Dorsey discography, swings for a full five and a half minutes.
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