The sound on each is very good (as Capitol's of this period always was).
The Prima CD selects 26 performances by the singer-trumpeter-bandleader, including, for the first time on a Prima compilation, I Wan'na Be Like You (The Monkey Song), from Disney's "The Jungle Book."
Smith's companion disc presents 27 of her solo recordings, including a previously-unreleased, live version of When Day Is Done (from the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas), with an introduction by Prima.
But I have to take issue with some of the song choices. Prima's versions of Hello Dolly and Cabaret are not "essential." (My review copies didn't include liner notes. Were these and a couple other weak ones, Luigi and Civilization, not even recorded on Capitol? They seem to have a different feel and sound altogether.) How can it be the "essential" Smith without It's Magic? And why repeat the same That Old Black Magic on each disc?
Ironically, Capitol itself released a better selection in 1991, the Prima "Capitol Collectors Series" disc (#94072).
Still, the fresh artwork is attractive on both titles, and Capitol deserves encouragement for keeping this kind of music available in 2007.
MORE NEW CDS
Louis Armstrong: "Bing & Louis: Havin' Fun," Storyville ( Den ) 103 8405; "Louis Armstrong
in Scandinavia," Storyville ( Den ) 108 8602 [ 4-CD set ]
Ray Anthony: "Have You Heard?," Montpellier ( UK ) MONTCD 009
Ben Bernie: "Ben Bernie," Retrieval ( UK ) 79055
Gus Bivona: "It's Allright with Me," Montpellier ( UK ) 33 [ = Mercury LP + Warner Brothers LP ]
Duke Ellington: "The Duke Box," Storyville ( Den ) 108 8600 [ 8-CD set ]
Maynard Ferguson: "The One and Only" [ his final studio recording, made in July 2006 ]
Benny Goodman: "The Young Benny Goodman 1928-1931," Timeless Historical ( UK )
CBC1088 [ 76:00; incl. 9 selections as member of Ben Selvin Orchestra ]
Ted Heath: "Big Band Percussion / Beatles, Bach and Bacharach," Vocalion ( UK ) 4346
[ = London LPs ]
Earl Hines: "The Chronological Earl Hines 1953-1954," Classics ( Fr ) 1440
Stan Kenton: "In True '52 Stereo," Dynaflow 20071; "Kenton for Collectors Vol.3," Dynaflow
20072; "Artistry in Omega," Dynaflow 20073
Art Mooney: "Greatest Hits & More," Sepia ( UK ) 1094
Ray Noble: "Hot Sides," Retrieval ( UK ) 79052
Tommy Reynolds: "Tomorrow & Beyond," Joyce JRC-1027 [ 22 tracks; 1939-56 ]
Luis Russell: "Saratoga Shout," ASV ( UK ) Living Era 5658
Gerald Wilson: "The Chronological Gerald Wilson 1946-1954," Classics ( Fr ) 1444
various artists: "Swing Is the Thing," Retrieval Records ( UK ) RTR 79054
Now in preparation are several more CDs which will be of interest. In August, Renovation will issue another volume of the "complete" Ted Weems; Hep has the Chick Webb Orchestra right after Chick's death led by Ella Fitzgerald (i.e., "Ella Fitzgerald and Her Famous Orchestra," swinging live broadcast performances of Sugarfoot Stomp, In the Groove At the Grove, Back Bay Shuffle, and 19 others); and BMG Japan will re-release on CD the ca.1957 RCA Victor LP by Peanuts Hucko and Helen Ward, "With a Little Bit of Swing." I was too anxious to wait 'til August to mention them, because these kinds of items don't normally get their due!
Looking further down the road... Audiophonic is reportedly working on Artie Shaw, Les Brown, and Ray McKinley titles and Mosaic Records is preparing a "Mosaic Select" package of Woody Herman from the Philips label during the early 1960s.
CALLING ALL COLLECTORS
The 36th annual "Jazz Bash" (once known as the "Ken Crawford Bash") will be held at the Holiday Inn of South Plainfield, New Jersey on the 22nd and 23rd of this month. The "Bash" features, of course, countless 78s, 45s, 33s, CDs, and DVDs for sale. Collector Dave Weiner and Ron Hutchinson of The Vitaphone Project will show rare jazz films, followed by rare record playoffs and challenges hosted by collector Henry Schmidt. Sounds like fun! For additional information, send an e-mail to Ragtime39@comcast.net.
FLETCHER HENDERSON MUSEUM
Work continues on the Fletcher Henderson Museum in his hometown of Cuthbert, Georgia; a space was purchased at 102 Peachtree Street and it's scheduled to open late this year.
One of the Museum's crown jewels will be the complete library of materials which once belonged to jazz author - historian Walter C. Allen, donated by his family. Allen was an expert on Henderson's life and career, having written the authoritative Hendersonia: The Music of Fletcher Henderson and His Musicians (Highland Park, NJ: Walter C. Allen, 1973). Allen's collection included sheet music, recordings, autographed first-edition books, magazines, photos, taped interviews, and correspondence.
The Museum's Board of Directors hopes that the facility will become a destination for jazz scholars and fans.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
Doc Severinsen, trumpeter (Fio Rito '45; Barnet '47-'49; S. Donahue '48; T. Dorsey '50), b.July 7, 1927
Rusty Dedrick, trumpeter (Stabile '38-'39; Norvo '39-'41; Thornhill '41-'42 and '46-'47; McKinley '46), b.July 12, 1918
Roc Hillman, guitarist (Dorsey Bros. '34-'35; J. Dorsey '35-'40; Kyser '40-'47) - composer, b.July 13, 1910
Buddy Moreno, vocalist (Griff Williams '40?; Jurgens '40-'42; James '43-'44), b.July 13, 1912
Larry O'Brien, trombonist (T. Dorsey Orch. '61-'65) - leader (Miller Orch. '81-'83 / '88- ), b.July 15, 1933
Danny Bank, saxophonist (Barnet '42-'44; Goodman '45-'46; Whiteman '47; Shaw '49-'50), b.July 17, 1922
Kay Starr, vocalist (Crosby '39; Miller '39; Venuti '39-'42; Barnet '43-'45), b.July 21, 1922
Gloria DeHaven, singer (Savitt '42) - actress, b.July 23, 1925
Ronny Lang, saxophonist (Ennis '47; Brown '49-'90? [ not continuous ]), b.July 24, 1927
Louis Bellson, drummer (Fio Rito '42; Goodman '42 and '46; T. Dorsey '47-'49; James '51; Ellington '51-'53; Dorsey Bros.
'55-'56), b.July 26, 1924
Hank Jones, pianist (Kirk '45; Shaw '53-'54; Goodman '56-'58), b.July 31, 1918
Johnny Frigo, 90, bass (Chico Marx '42; J. Dorsey '46-'47) - violin, d.July 4, 2007, "complications
related to a fall" in the lobby of his condo building in June (he went to the hospital with
fractured vertebrae and a broken pelvis)
James T. Maher, 90, writer - historian, d.July 18, 2007
Al Hendrickson, 87, guitar (Shaw '40-'41; Slack '41 / '46; Vallee '42-'44?; Goodman '47; J. Gray '49-'51),
d.July 19, 2007
Art Davis, 73, bass (Gillespie '59-'60; Basie 7/1/62 Roulette session), d.July 29, 2007, heart attack
THE THINGS SHE DID THIS SUMMER
Claire Schwartz of the Vaughn Monroe Appreciation Society deserves congratulations for the wonderful job she did planning and hosting the Society's gathering in Boston recently.
As she arranged, participants went on a tour of Monroe-related locations, including the New England Conservatory (where Monroe studied voice in 1935, and which has a large collection of original Monroe band arrangements and "Camel Caravan" acetates), Boston Public Library (which holds materials related to Monroe and his manager Jack Marshard), the one-time site of Seiler's Ten Acres (where Monroe's band debuted in 1940) in Wayland, the former site of The Meadows (a night club/restaurant Monroe owned) in Framingham, the old Vaughn Monroe Productions office on Newberry Street, his former residence at 3 Pine Road, and a subsequent home at 35 Pickwick Road in Newton.
They also got to watch three mid-1950s TV appearances by Monroe (courtesy of The Game Show Network), shared recorded music, and talked about him.
As if that wasn't enough, Claire put together a 3-1/2-minute video tribute to Monroe, combining his recording of The Things We Did Last Summer with various images appropriate to the lyrics. It may be viewed on youtube.com.
SEE A BIG BAND LIVE
Les Brown's Band of Renown directed by Les Brown, Jr.: Jul. 2-5 / 7 / 9-12 / 14, Mickey Gilley Theatre,
Cab Calloway Orchestra directed by C. Calloway Brooks: Jul. 19, Astoria Park, Astoria, NY
Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Bill Tole: Jul.6, Hoover Auditorium, Lakeside, OH; Jul. 9, Robert Z. Hawkins
Amphitheater, Reno, NV
Sammy Kaye Orchestra directed by Roger Thorpe: Jul.26, Snug Harbor, Staten Island, NY
Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians with Al Pierson: Jul. 26, Lincoln Park, Tracy, CA; 29-Aug. 3, cruise on
Missisippi Queen riverboat
Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Larry O'Brien: Jul. 2, Bowman County Fairgrounds, Bowman, ND; Jul. 4, Beaver
Creek Resort, Avon, CO; Jul. 8, Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, Dubuque, IA; Jul. 10, Bear Creek Farms, Bryant, IN; Jul. 11,
Lake Anna Park, Barberton, OH; Jul. 12, James Duncan Plaza, Massillon, OH; Jul. 14, Holt High School Auditorium, Holt, MI; Jul. 16,
Coney Island Park, Cincinnati, OH; Jul. 17, Foellinger Theater, Fort Wayne, IN; Jul. 18, World Friendship Shell, Bay City, MI; Jul. 19,
Shopping Center, Oakwood Village, OH; Jul. 21, American Music Theatre, Lancaster, PA; Jul. 22, Auletto Caterers, Almonesson, NJ;
Jul. 23, National Golf Club, Saratoga Springs, NY; Jul. 24, The Pavilion. Old Orchard Beach, ME; Jul. 25, Imperial Theatre, St. John, NB
CAN; Jul. 27, Officers Club, US Naval Station, Newport, RI; Jul. 28, private dance, Narragansett, RI; Jul. 29, Palace Theatre,
Manchester, NH; Jul. 30, tba, Berlin, NH
Russ Morgan Orchestra directed by Jack Morgan: Jul. 8, Indiana Roof Ballroom, Indianapolis, IN; Jul. 14, American
Legion, Orland, IN; Jul. 19-23, cruise, Mississippi Queen riverboat
IN-PRINT AND / OR ONLINE
Bauer, Jennifer K. "Jazz legend Hampton had bond with Nez Perce Tribe," Lewiston [ ID ]
Tribune, July 25, 2007. [ Hampton was made an honorary member of the tribe ]
Copeland, Alan. Jukebox Saturday Nights: Alan Copeland, Pop Music, Big Bands,
in Radio, Movies and TV from 1920s thru 1960s (Albany, GA: BearManor Media, 2007).
[ 312-pg book; incl. story of his working with The Modernaires from 1948-on ]
Eaton, Tony. "On the Net: Tony Eaton is still surfing," Moonlight Serenader, Number 313 /
3rd Edition 2007, pp.9-10. [ reviews websites of The Modernaires, John Miller, Jan Eberle ]
Friedwald, Will. "Arts & Letters: Thoroughly Modern Benny [ Carter ]," New York Sun /
nysun.com, July 30, 2007. [ discussing two recent CDs, one featuring Carter mostly as a player, the other mostly as
a composer ]
Gilbert, Andrew. "Jazz Talk: Drummer comes home to visit family, play for fans," [ Walnut
Creek, CA ] Contra Costa Times, July 12, 2007. [ about drummer Sylvia Cuenca, who recently finished
recording an album with trumpeter Clark Terry (Hampton '45; Barnet '47-'48 / '58 Everest "Cherokee" LP / '66-'67; Basie '48-'51 / '76 Pablo
"Basie Jam" LP; Ellington '51-'59) playing music by drummer - bandleader Louis Bellson (Fio Rito '42; Goodman '42 and '46; T. Dorsey '47-'49;
James '51; Ellington '51-'53; Dorsey Bros. '55-'56) ]
Hilburn, Robert. "Backtracking: Prima and Smith's chemistry and showmanship on exhibit,"
Los Angeles Times, July 24, 2007. [ review of Capitol/EMI 92566 and 00013 ]
Modell, Ron. "Catching Up With Quincy Jones," Instrumentalist, July 2007.
Panken, Ted. "Reissues: Ellingtonian Drama," DownBeat, July 2007, p.78. [ review of Mosaic 235 ]
Sudyk, Bob. "Many Subjects on Dean's List: A Sports Talk Innovator - Just Don't Call Him
Soft," Hartford [ CT ] Courant, July 1, 2007. [ Arnold Dean, host of "One Night Stand with the Big Bands" on WTIC,
is now 77 and semi-retired ]
Taylor, Roland. "Miller's Mighty Service Band: The ensemble in focus," Moonlight Serenader,
Number 313 / 3rd Edition 2007, pp.2-5. [ continuing chronology ]
Vagg, Miranda. "Big Band: Glenn Miller Orchestra set to play concert at Medina high this
fall," Medina [ NY ] Journal-Register, July 29, 2007. [ the Medina High School Band is presenting the Miller
Orchestra as a fundraiser ]
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