Although the Tin Pan Alley song title "Got a Date with an Angel" ostensibly refers to a tryst with an attractive earthling, the cover art on Living Era's Hal Kemp collection gives the impression that the tuxedoed bandleader is gleefully anticipating his rendezvous with a Mack truck followed by a visit to the Pearly Gates. Despite this alarming impression, Living Era's Got a Date with an Angel (not to be confused with a similar Kemp collection released on Pro Arte in 1992) is a swell anthology of sweet dance band recordings from the 1930s. Hal Kemp combined artistic ingenuity with practical sensibilities that established and maintained his popularity among the record-buying public during the Great Depression. In addition to the eight titles it shares with the Pro Arte release, Living Era's Kemp sampler contains numerous melodies that epitomized popular culture during the 1930s, including Mike Riley and Eddie Farley's "The Music Goes 'Round and Around," Rodgers & Hart's "Where or When" and "There's a Small Hotel," the pleasantly disorienting "Moonlight Saving Time," Kemp's own "In Dutch with the Duchess," and Busby Berkeley buck-dancing delights like "Shuffle Off to Buffalo," "Lullaby of Broadway," and "Forty-Second Street." How d'ya like them apples?
AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf