Jimmy Dorsey

Live at the Edgewater

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A fine live performance by the Jimmy Dorsey band near the tail-end of its history, captured live at the Edgewater Starlite Roof, on the shores of Lake Mendota in Madison, WI. The big-band era was coming to a close, but you'd scarcely know it from the elegant playing here, before a crowd of 2500 eager listeners and dancers. The emphasis tends toward "sweet" (i.e., pop) rather than swing (jazz), but the band still takes flight on "Wimoweh" (a then-current single as well as a recent hit for the Weavers) and "That's a Plenty," a piece better known for Jackie Gleason's appropriation of it as "a little traveling music" on his TV show. "Perfida" makes a supremely elegant and lyrical opening, and vocalist Eleanor Russell turns in a sultry performance on "Don't You Worry 'Bout Me." The sources for this show are radio transcription discs from the original 25-minute live broadcast, and these have been cleaned up nicely -- there are still some pops and clicks, but the noise only becomes obtrusive in the quiet parts. They were also very well recorded, with excellent balances; every section of the band, from the drums to the brass, is sharply delineated throughout, and Dorsey's extended clarinet solo on "Delicado" justifies the price of the disc. Paired with a 30-minute Woody Herman show from the same venue.

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