Sounds of the Great Bands!

Casa Loma Orchestra

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Sounds of the Great Bands! Review

by Scott Yanow

One of the first of Glen Gray's series of albums that revisit the hits of the swing era in hi-fi, this set features a 17-piece band filled with top studio players, many of whom had come to maturity during the swing era. They perform hits by 12 different bandleaders, generally coming as close as possible to note-for-note recreations. Although such musicians as trumpeters Pete Candoli, Manny Klein and Shorty Sherock, clarinetist Gus Bivona, tenors Babe Russin and Plas Johnson and pianist Ray Sherman have their spots, their renditions of such songs as "Begin the Beguine," "Take the 'A' Train," "Flying Home," "Song of India" and "String of Pearls" add nothing to the originals and lack some of the original excitement and spontaneity. With the "real" versions readily available, decades later this nostalgic exercise seems quite pointless.