Beyond the delight that fans of Jimmy Dorsey should feel on hearing this extraordinary CD, the very same disc should evoke nothing but shame from the two major labels that control most of Jimmy Dorsey's output. That would be Universal and Sony who, between them, have issued far less on Dorsey than one gets on this CD from the European Disconforme label. The material here, 26 tracks drawn mostly from radio airchecks and other sources, sounds great and it shows off both sides of Dorsey's output, the "sweet" pop numbers that got him most of his chart action, and the jazzier instrumentals that gave him his rep in jazz circles. "Blue Lou" and the other instrumentals here show off a top-ranked swing band, while vocal numbers, variously featuring Bob Eberly, Helen O'Connell, Claire Hogan, and Kenny Martin, straddle the line between jazz and pop with an aplomb worthy of an acrobat. What puts this collection head-and-shoulders above other pirated airshot releases is the 24-bit remastering which, coupled with some careful de-noising, has yielded a CD that offers fidelity as fine any authorized release of studio masters from the same period is ever likely to present. The CD is also a tribute to the skills of the radio engineers from the original broadcast sources for these sides -- the mic'ing of the band is astonishingly good, as revealed by the remastering; what's more, even the treatment of the studio sides is superior to anything we've heard from Universal or Columbia and the paltry pickings they've issued from this library. The annotation is a little skimpy, but otherwise this is as fine a package on the older Dorsey brother as we've seen in decades, in any format. And it's a most-own CD for fans of Dorsey or of great swing music and big-band jazz.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder