This is one swinging record, as well as a prime slice of theater music history -- in 1956, Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, backed by the vocal group the Martins and the Ralph Burns Orchestra, recorded the dozen tracks here, comprised of songs written for Meet Me in St. Louis, Athena, Best Foot Forward, Good News, and Ziegfeld Follies. Even though the recordings date from the mid-'50s, the recordings have just enough of the feel of big-band swing to them to make them more than performing exercises by the two composers -- and as both men were performers before they established themselves as songwriters, these aren't just exercises in ego, either; Martin and Blane (but especially Martin, a truly great singer) do full justice to the material at hand, and anything on this CD could have qualified for release as a legitimate pop record in its own time. The sound is great and the notes are fine as far as they go, though one wishes they'd run a little longer and deeper into their subject.
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AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder