Dutton Vocalion's Ray Noble retrospective inches inexorably onward with this parcel of 24 recordings made for the HMV label between October 1933 and February 1934, heavily featuring crooner Al Bowlly as well as vocalists Eve Becke and Dawn Davis. This is British dance band music from the age of Ambrose, Birt Firman, Jack Hylton and Harry Roy. In order to enjoy and appreciate such stuff the listener must be willing to slip into an alternate naïve universe, where pop tunes are delivered with sweet and gentle persuasiveness. The only song containing the warmly abrasive grit of North American jazz is "Who Walks in When I Walk Out?" Heard here in two takes, this number would reappear 40 years later on Smoke Dreams, an album released on ESP Disk by the Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band, a hashish-fueled Australian jugband that specialized in re-creating songs of this vintage. The '30s British dance band genre is epitomized by titles like "My Hat's on the Side of My Head" and "When You Were the Girl on the Scooter." Ray Noble's orchestra is dependably cheerful, pleasant and reassuring, but the real attraction on this compilation is the marvelous voice of Al Bowlly.
AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf
feat: Dawn Davis