Mildred Bailey was a gifted singer who swung with the best of them in the 1930s and 1940s, though her contributions have been unjustly overlooked. The selections in this compilation come from three broadcasts of her weekly radio show, which aired from September 1944 until February of 1945. Her delightful, swinging vocals are accompanied by the Paul Baron and His Orchestra and several jazz soloists, highlighted by "It Had to Be You," "I'm Beginning to See the Light" and "I Didn't Know About You." She is also mesmerizing in her treatments of spirituals like "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" and "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot." There are also several special instrumental features. Trumpeter Charlie Shavers is heard on "Summertime." There are also sextet features for Shavers, Teddy Wilson, Red Norvo, guitarist Tommy Kay, bassist Al Hall and drummer Specs Powell, including a swinging "The Sheik of Araby" and "Bugle Call Rag." Tommy Dorsey makes a guest appearance performing his hit "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You." Trombonist Trummy Young offers a new original called "Trummin' on a Riff." Guest Earl Hines is introduced with a brief excerpt of his "Rosetta" though his feature is his boogie-woogie treatment of "St. Louis Blues." Cozy Cole takes the drum spotlight in a romping "Stomping at the Savoy." Paul Baron features a pair of instrumentals by a little-known composer named Walter Morant, though his work sounds rather dated and similar to the Glenn Miller Orchestra. For such vintage transcriptions, the sound is surprisingly good, with minimal distractions. Recommended.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden
feat: Paul Baron