Tommy Dorsey

The Carnegie Hall V-Disc Session (April 1944)

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This is an exceedingly valuable performance by the Dorsey band, from a live broadcast in front of an invited audience of servicemen and women in uniform, originally sponsored by Coca-Cola. Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra were near their peak, and half of the 11 numbers from the show swing with a smooth elegance and bracing joy that's hard to beat. The sweet numbers, featuring Bob Allen or the Sentimentalists, are a lot less interesting and compelling to most modern ears, though they do represent just as much about what this band was about, and a major reason for their popularity in their own time, as the hotter side of its output. The band was a good one, Pete Candoli in the trumpet section, Buddy DeFranco on alto sax and clarinet, Al Klink on tenor sax, and Gene Krupa on the skins, while Georgia Gibbs and Bob Allen handled the vocals. Krupa shows admirable restraint throughout the performance, seldom showing off and never overwhelming the band or the song. Gibbs shines among the singers, turning in a smooth yet bluesy rendition of "Tess's Torch Song" from the then-current movie Up in Arms. Sy Oliver was the featured arranger on much of the best material here, most notably "Paramount on Parade," which included solos of two choruses each by DeFranco on clarinet and Al Klink's tenor sax. DeFranco also turns in a superb solo on the "TD Chant" in an arrangement by Deane Kincaide. The other 14 songs come from live V-Disc sessions from various locales, in October 1943 and June, July, August, and September of 1944, featuring Bing Crosby, Bob Allen, and Frances Langford on vocals. The 1944 tracks also include Buddy Rich on the drums. The fidelity is very good, without any traces of noise or distortion, and the source has been nicely cleaned up. The track listing goes a little haywire about halfway through, one number off, but that's a small complaint in an otherwise well put together package.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:53
2 3:48
3 2:56
4 2:44
5 3:08
6 3:03
7 3:23
8 1:57
9 3:37
10 3:33
11 3:44
13 3:50
14 3:58
15 2:55
16 1:39
17 2:48
18 2:53
19 2:55
20 2:44
21 2:28
22 3:12
23 2:24
24 2:16
blue highlight denotes track pick