Arranger/composer Russ Morgan wrote charts for many top acts of the '30s, including the inestimable Fletcher Henderson and Louis Armstrong as well as Chick Webb, the Boswell Sisters, and Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey. He also led his own orchestra for several decades, doing largely the same things he'd done earlier for appreciative home audiences. The ASV/Living Era compilation Cruising Down the River compiles over two-dozen selections from Morgan & His Orchestra, including two features for Bing Crosby ("Does Your Heart Beat for Me" and "Among My Souvenirs"), and single selections for the Andrews Sisters ("Charley, My Boy"), Connee Boswell, and the Ames Brothers. All of Morgan's biggest hits are also here (whether they appeared on Columbia, Brunswick, or Decca): "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down," "Forever and Ever," and the title track, "Cruising Down the River." The Russ Morgan experience was smooth and breezy to the extreme, but with the release of this volume, the curious should have no doubt concerning where to head.
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AllMusic Review by John Bush