Jerry Gray & His Orchestra

Salute to Glenn Miller

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Best known as one of Glenn Miller's key arrangers, Jerry Gray led his own studio bands during the first half of the 1950s. By 1958, his bandleading career was almost over (he would only lead one later album), and he was still often cast in the role of re-creating his past successes. This 1997 CD finds Gray and a big band playing a dozen songs from the swing era, including nine numbers he had originally arranged for Miller. Over the protests of the Glenn Miller estate, Gray, to an extent, gained the right to update his charts, although they often pay close homage to the earlier versions. The biggest departure is an R&B-ish rendition of "Johnson Rag" that features Dave Harris' tenor. Otherwise, these performances (which include short spots for trumpeters Ray Linn and Johnny Best, Willie Schwartz on clarinet, and pianist Ernie Hughes) are very much in the Glenn Miller tradition. Pleasing but rather predictable.

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