Tommy Dorsey

1939, Vol. 3

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The 14th installment of the Classics Tommy Dorsey chronology documents all of the Victor recordings he made with the Dorsey Orchestra and with the Clambake Seven from August 3 to October 20, 1939. During this period, Sy Oliver and Jimmy Mundy wrote a handful of big-band arrangements for the bespectacled trombonist. There are only two instrumental records in this segment of the Dorsey discography. "Night Glow" is lush and idyllic. "March of the Toys," from Victor Herbert's Babes in Toyland, dates back to 1903. The swing version heard here resulted from an arrangement by tenor saxophonist Deane Kincaide. The rest of this compilation belongs to the vocalists. On August 28th, Dorsey, Hughie Prince, and the Clambake Seven sang "Vol Vistu Gaily Star," based upon Slim Gaillard's "Vol Vist du Gaily Star," a wonderful, almost surreal record Gaillard had made for Vocalion almost exactly one year earlier with a small group including Slam Stewart. Dorsey constantly tempered his sentimental output with comedic material that ranged from imitation hip to almost annoyingly silly and at times overbearing. Hughie Prince sings a corny cowboy song complete with Hollywood-style whoops from the band. Edythe Wright, who coolly negotiates "Are You Havin' Any Fun?" and a couple of wistful love songs, does everything she can with "Shoot the Sherbet to Me, Herbert" and manages to pull off the puerile "All in Favor of Swing Say 'Aye'." The last nine tracks on this disc are features for crooner Jack Leonard and sugary chanteuse Anita Boyer. Dorsey was among the first bandleaders to record Jerome Kern's "All the Things You Are." His sweetly buzzing trombone introduces the melody with studied precision.

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