Paul Whiteman

Paul Whiteman Conducts George Gershwin

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Throughout much of his career, Paul Whiteman was a champion of George Gershwin's music, commissioning "Rhapsody in Blue" and using that piece as his theme song. This CD mostly has previously unreleased music, including six performances taken from a Gershwin memorial concert recorded July 10, 1938, a year after the composer's death. Most of the music is outside of jazz, although trombonist Jack Teagarden pops up briefly during "I Got Rhythm" (which is part of a medley) and Maxine Sullivan sings "Nice Work If You Can Get It." Pianist Roy Bargy is showcased on "Rhapsody in Blue" and "Second Rhapsody," while the Lyn Murray Chorus make three appearances, and the Modernaires (before they joined Charlie Barnet and became famous with Glenn Miller) pop up twice. In addition, the Paul Whiteman Orchestra is heard on their 1934 version of "An American in Paris," there are several selections taken from a 1948 concert, and the CD concludes with a second version of "Rhapsody in Blue," featuring pianist Earl Wild and a voice section in 1945. Throughout, the music is well-played, and it is always interesting to hear George Gershwin's longer works outside of the classical context.

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