Glenn Miller

This Is Glenn Miller and the Army Air Force Band

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A part of RCA Victor Records' early-'70s series of "This Is..." double-LP compilations of big band greats (This Is Tommy Dorsey, This Is Benny Goodman, etc.), This Is Glenn Miller and the Army Air Force Band is a 20-track distillation of an earlier five-record set of airchecks made in the period of about a year when Miller, having disbanded his civilian band in the fall of 1942, had gone into the service, and there organized his Army Air Force Band, broadcast in the U.S. before heading overseas. Annotator and Miller biographer George T. Simon claims the new band was "superior in just about every respect" to the civilian band, which may or may not be true, but it certainly was larger. One hears strings in some of the arrangements here, and there are clearly larger brass and reed sections as well. The orchestra puts a new coat of paint on Miller favorites like "Tuxedo Junction" and "In the Mood," as well as tackling standards associated with other bands (Lionel Hampton's "Flying Home," Artie Shaw's "Begin the Beguine"). To the extent that there is any indication of what a postwar Miller band might have sounded like, had the bandleader not been killed, it may be heard in the easy listening approach to "Holiday for Strings" and "Stormy Weather." Some bandleaders, bedeviled by the musicians strike that began in mid-1942 and defections from their ranks caused by the draft, suffered during this period, but by making a transition to a military unit, Miller was able to roll right on, bigger and, if not better, then just as good as before.

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