Recorded at a time when big-band dance music was still being marketed to college students, Ray Anthony's concisely presented jazz albums are now compiled into one energetic and uplifting retrospective. Using as many as 18 pieces, trumpeter Anthony presided over these brightly balanced sessions in Hollywood and New York between 1950 and 1955. Ideal for freeway driving, retro-lounging, or hosting an informal open-air function, this crisp and sometimes quirky compendium of traditional swing melodies never relies too heavily on camp or corn; the band even pulls off a smart rendition of "Skip to My Lou" without sacrificing too much dignity. This is largely because of the arrangements written by George Williams, Dick Reynolds, Don Simpson, and Ray Anthony himself. Noteworthy jazz instrumentalists include Marshall Royal, Ted Nash, Barney Kessel, George Barnes, and Mel Lewis. Most importantly, this music is fun. Nothing too serious or complicated here -- just good clean fun.
AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf