The tenth installment of the Classics Tommy Dorsey chronology presents a series of Victor recordings he made during midsummer and early autumn 1938 in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. Edythe Wright was Dorsey's primary vocalist from 1935 to 1939. While some of her recorded performances are pleasantly zippy and entertaining, she sometimes had to participate in Dorsey's tightly scripted mechanical cornball routines, rhythmically chanting rhymed verse in an atmosphere almost entirely devoid of spontaneity, not to mention dignity. The stupidest, most painfully contrived Clambake Seven recording of all was "A-Tisket, A-Tasket," and Wright's duets with Skeets Herfurt are almost as obnoxious. Instrumental tracks therefore take on a comparative aspect of richly rewarding artistic merit. A high-stepping rendition of "Panama" by William H. Tyers, Hoagy Carmichael's wistful "Washboard Blues," the catchy "Copenhagen," and the soon to be famous "Boogie Woogie" were each arranged by tenor saxophonist Deane Kincaide. Other rewarding instrumentals heard here are "Carolina Moon," a bouncing oddity with eccentric modulations and a dash of boogie flavoring called "Lightly and Politely," Benny Carter's "Symphony in Riffs," and "Chinatown, My Chinatown," expertly swung by the Clambake Seven, a tight little group that sounds for all the world like a contingent from the Eddie Condon mob as they tear through a sizzling salute to "The Sheik of Araby."
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