Al Bowlly / Ray Noble & His Orchestra

HMV Sessions, Vol. 1: 1930-1934

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AllMusic Review by

British crooner Al Bowlly is honored by the Dutton Vocalion label with this charming collection of recordings made between November 30, 1930 and June 11, 1931. If those numbers don't seem to square up with the title (1930-1934) it's because this is Volume One in a series. Bowlly is mainly heard with Ray Noble and the New Mayfair Orchestra. Accompaniments on tracks 12 through 14 are listed as by the Novelty Orchestra, and the vocal on "Roll On, Mississippi, Roll On" is said to have been tendered by Bowlly and the Three Ginx. There are four medleys of popular tunes; two are headed "Pages of Radio Land," the others "On with the Show." Bowlly was a superb purveyor of honeyed sentiments. He was also capable of straddling topical tunes and riding them 'round the parlor like nobody's business. As with every Bowlly album there are plenty of surprises in here. Highlights would have to include the wild scat passages in "Sunny Days," the merrily contrived exotica of "Lady of Spain," "Makin' Wickey Wackey Down in Waikiki" and "Fiesta." Those in the know are still waiting for Bowlly's charm to rub off on the rest of the world. There's nothing nor nobody anywhere quite like him.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
3:09
2
3:26
3 2:57
4 2:25
5
3:10
6 3:14
7
3:19
8 2:26
9 3:19
10 2:35
11
2:59
12 1:04
13 1:01
14 1:08
15
3:06
16
3:00
17 2:41
18 3:10
19
3:17
20 3:04
21 2:58
22
3:11
23
2:59
24 2:54
25 2:47
26
2:59
27
2:22
blue highlight denotes track pick