Leo Reisman

Vol. 1

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This LP from the legendary RCA Vintage series is quite intriguing. Leo Reisman led a band that primarily played sweet music during the 1930s but did record a few rather interesting performances. During 1930-1931, Reisman employed the former Duke Ellington trumpeter Bubber Miley (making his orchestra temporarily integrated), and Miley takes a particularly haunting solo on "What Is This Thing Called Love"; unfortunately, the following vocal by Lewis Conrad is horrendous! Miley is also heard on "Without That Gal" with Reisman (who was much better than Conrad himself taking the vocal). Other interesting selections on this 16-cut LP include appearances by Lee Wiley ("Time on My Hands"), Fred Astaire ("Night and Day," "The Gold Diggers' Song," and along with his sister Adele Astaire, the unfortunate novelty "Hoops"), Harold Arlen ("Stormy Weather"), actor Clifton Webb ("Not for All the Rice in China"), and various lesser-known singers. But overall the main reason to pick up this LP (hopefully at an inexpensive price) is for the rare Miley solos. Someday an overview of Miley's work with Reisman (there are probably other recorded solos) should be released on CD.

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