The big bands are back
in a new and exciting way!
    Both LPs gathered together many of the famous sidemen from the Miller and Dorsey bands to, once again, play those classic, original arrangements - only, this time, in stereo.
    Among the musicians participating were, variously, trumpeters Charlie Shavers, Bobby Hackett, "Pee Wee" Erwin, and Bernie Privin; clarinetist Johnny Mince; alto saxophonists Milt Yaner and Hank Freeman; tenor saxophonists "Tex" Beneke, "Boomie" Richman, and Al Klink; bassist "Trigger" Alpert; guitarist Carmen Mastren; and drummers "Moe" Purtill and Cliff Leeman.  Versatile trombonist and former bandleader Bobby Byrne served as conductor.
    The dozen Miller-related tracks are all instrumentals - fine renditions of, for example, Adios, in an augmented arrangement lasting 4:45; Little Brown Jug, with a swinging solo by Beneke different from the one he played on the 1939 Bluebird; and Rhapsody in Blue, which has an extended introduction not heard on Miller's 1942 Victor recording. 
    The remaining cuts, things like I'm Getting Sentimental Over You and Boogie Woogie, were evidently the first recorded stereo tributes to Tommy Dorsey, who had died unexpectedly in 1956, and his brother, Jimmy, who had succumbed to cancer the following year. 
    Bob Eberly is heard recreating several of his most popular Jimmy Dorsey vocals, including I Understand (he and the band sound especially nice on this one), The Breeze and I, and, with Dottie Evans, Green Eyes and Amapola.
    The sessions, made in New York City, preceded and contrast other records, such as the series of salutes done with a different cast of band alumni in Hollywood for the budget Crown label.
    Tay, as CD producer, has overseen the transfer of this music with due care, enlisting Robin Cherry to very cleanly master the sound, which was originally recorded by engineer Robert Fine.  Tay also got Ray Leaning to effectively replicate the cover illustration, drawn by artist Tracy Sugarman, in CD dimensions.
    Several color photographs from the actual recording sessions are included in the booklet.
    "Hits of Glenn Miller and Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey in Stereo" is recommended for all big band fans, especially those who enjoy their music played with authenticity and in sparkling fidelity.
Big Band Library rating: EXCELLENT

Carmen Cavallaro.  "Cavallaro with that Latin Beat / Cocktails with Cavallaro," Vocalion
    [ UK ] CDNJT 5208.  = the 1960 Decca LPs.  Includes Enlloro (Voodoo Moon), You
    Belong to My Heart, and Just in Time.
Jimmy Dorsey.  "You Made Me Love You: Helen O'Connell with the Jimmy Dorsey
    Orchestra," Flare [ UK ] ROYCD 309.  Pointless CD in that it duplicates 22 of the 24
    songs which were already issued by Flare itself in 2000 on "Especially for You" (ROYCD
    219) plus Go Fly a Kite which was already issued by Flare in 2007 on "It's All Yours"
    (ROYCD 248), and adds only While the Music Plays On and He Didn't Ask Me.
Tommy Dorsey.  "Land of Dreams," Circle CCD-160.  26 tracks made for Langworth
    transcriptions in 1944-46.  Most performances already on the CD "Tommy Dorsey and
    His Greatest Band" (Jasmine JASMCD 2537, 1993), but also including You Brought a
    New Love to Me, Pussy Willow, This Time, I Never Knew, Do Nothin' Til You Hear From
    Me, I Dream of You, and You're Driving Me Crazy.
Duke Ellington.  "The Complete 1932-1940 Brunswick, Columbia, and Master Recordings
    of Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra," Mosaic MD11-248.  Compilation of
    these recordings "for the first, and quite possibly the last, time."
Benny Goodman.  "AFRS Benny Goodman Show Volume 3," Sounds of YesterYear [ UK ]
    DSOY831.  Programs five and six of the series.  Including Gene Krupa as a guest.
Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra.  "24 selections from the 1940s," Audiophonic
    101011.  2-CD set including We Three, Take Care, Rock Island Flag Stop and others
    done for Standard Transcriptions.  Some selections previously issued by Hindsight.
Jerry Gray.  "Let Yourself Go: Singin' and Swingin'," Tartare 8046.  With The Pied Pipers.
    = Warner Brothers WS 1446, originally recorded in 1962.
Ted Heath.  "That's My Desire: Rare Transcription Recordings of the 1950s," Vocalion
    [ UK ] CDEA 6178.  Made ca.1953 and 1956.  Includes Barber Shop Jump, Stonehenge,
    and Tenderly.
Syd Lawrence.  "My Favorite Things / This Is a Lovely Way to Spend An Evening,"
    Vocalion [ UK ] CDLK 4422.  = the 1973 and 1974 LPs of the same name.  Includes
    Basin Street Blues, Peanut Vendor, and I Know Why (And So Do You).
Richard Maltby.  "Maltby Moods," Montpellier [ UK ] MONTCD071.  = the 1956 album,
    "Hue-Fi Moods," Vik LX-1051 + the 1957 album, "Maltby with Strings Attached," Vik
Ray McKinley.  "Howdy Friends," Sounds of Yester Year [ UK ] DSOY832.  Selections
    include broadcast versions of Howdy Friends, I’m An Old Cowhand, You Came a Long
    Way From St. Louis, What Did I Do?, and Hangover Square
Glenn Miller.  "The Glenn Miller Orchestra Plays the Music of Harold Arlen and Irving
    Berlin," Sounds of YesterYear [ UK ] DSOY833.  Includes Miller's civilian and AAF
    groups, and the post-war Miller Orchestra directed by Tex Beneke.  Selections include
    Change Partners; Marie; Back to Back; Outside of That I Love You; When That Man Is
    Dead and Gone; A Little Old Church in England; At the Presidents Birthday Ball; Angels
    of Mercy; Let’s Have Another Cup of Coffee; How Deep Is The Ocean; I Left My Heart At
    the Stage Door Canteen; With My Head in the Clouds; White Christmas; Alexander's
    Ragtime Band; Easter Parade; Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead; Over the Rainbow
    [ Miller ]; Says Who, Says You, Says I; This Time the Dreams On Me; Blues in the Night;
    That Old Black Magic; Stormy Weather; Now I Know; Get Happy; Accentuate the Positive;
    Come Rain Or Come Shine; Over the Rainbow [ Beneke ]; Blues in the Night March.
---.  "The Glenn Miller Orchestra Plays Cole Porter and Richard Rodgers," Sounds of
    YesterYear [ UK ] DSOY835.  The performances come from the period 1939 to 1958,
    and include Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, The Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band, The
    Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Tex Beneke, and The Glenn Miller Orchestra directed
    by Ray McKinley.  There will also be three tracks by Miller alumnus Norman Leyden and
    His Orchestra.  The Cole Porter songs are Get Out of Town; It Was Written in the Stars;
    Fresh As a Daisy; Everything I Have; Begin the Beguine; I Love You; Begin the Beguine
    (second version); Anything Goes; and Night and Day.  The Richard Rodgers songs are
    How Can You Forget; This Can’t Be Love; Blue Moon; Isn’t It Romantic; Sentimental Me;
    Oh! What a Beautiful Morning; Blue Room; People Will Say We’re in Love; Lover; You
    Are Too Beautiful; There’s a Small Hotel; So Far; My Romance; Bali Hai; A Wonderful
    Guy; It Never Entered My Mind; The Lady Is a Tramp; My Heart Stood Still; and Where Or
Glenn Miller Orchestra.  "Forever Swing!," Victor [ Japan ] VICP-64895.
Glenn Miller Orchestra [ sic ].  "Home for the Holidays."  13 select tracks from the trio of
    CDs issued by LaserLight, "In the Christmas Mood" (no.15 418), "In the Christmas Mood II"
    (12 200), and "In the Nutcracker Mood" (12 953).  In fact, the first of those recordings was
    initially released as "In a Christmas Mood," by the so-called "Starlight Orchestra," on Mobile
    Fidelity (MFCD-1-796).
Sy Oliver.  "Mixed Doubles," Sounds of Yester Year [ UK ] DSOY834.  = two LPs made for
    SESAC in 1960, "Oliver's Twist," and 1962, "Easy Walker," both of which were already on
    CD on Mobile Fidelity UDCD 638.  Couldn't Montpellier have chosen something of
    Oliver's that already wasn't on CD, like "Sway it with Flowers," Decca DL8740 and "Sy
    Oliver Backstage," Dot DLP 25184?
Tony Pastor.  "Let's Do It," Montpellier [ UK ] MONTCD68.  = Everest SD1031, which was
    already on a budget-priced CD ("Tony Pastor Plays and Sings Shaw," Collectables
    COL-CD-0861, 2006) + Roulette SR25024.  Couldn't Montpellier have combined the
    Roulette album with something by Pastor that wasn't already on a CD - like "Shakin' Up
    Vegas," Capitol ST-1415?
Louis Prima.  "Rarities & Hits!: A Centennial Celebration," Collectors' Choice Music
    CCM-2170.  A 24-track compilation from the Prima label archives.  "Among the
    unreleased tracks are a duet with Gia Maione Prima, I Can't Believe That You're in Love
    with Me; studio takes of Topolino and I've Got You Under My Skin, and live-in-Las
    Vegas renditions of Oh, Marie and Little Green Apples."  Recorded 1963 to 1975.
Buddy Rich.  "Speak No Evil / Plays and Plays and Plays," BGO [ UK ] / Zoomstar.
    Latter previously available on CD in 2005 as BMG [ Japan ] BVCJ 37435.
Paul Whiteman.  "Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra Volume 4: Japanese Mammy," Vocalion
    [ UK ] CDEA 6182.  Recorded between 1925 and 1939, includes Avalon, Song of
    India, and Birth of the Blues.
Various artists.  "Big Band Legends: The Hollywood Years," Fuel 2000.  2-CDs.

Lionel Hampton.  "International Jazz Festival 1997," Kultur Films.  Includes Hampton
    performing When I Fall in Love, How High the Moon, and, with singer Lou Rawls,
    Stormy Monday / It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing).

Count Basie Orchestra directed by Dennis Mackrel.  Remainder of European tour: Nov. 2,
    Athens Music Hall, Athens, Greece; Nov. 4, Slovak Radio Concert Hall, Bratislava,
    Slovakia; Nov. 6, Hurther Jazznacht, Hurth, Germany; Nov. 8, Finlandia Talo Huset Hall,
    Helsinki, Finland; Nov. 10, Pavilhao Atlantico, Lisbon, Portugal; Nov. 11, Jazz Im Audi
    Forum, Ingolstadt, Germany; Nov. 12, Blue Note Jazz Club, Milan, Italy; Nov. 13,
    Bologna Jazz Festival, Modena, Italy.
Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Bill Tole.  Nov. 14, Columbia, MO; Nov. 20, Yountville,
Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Larry O'Brien.  Nov. 1-2, Westchester Broadway Theatre,
    Elmsford, NY; Nov. 4, Riviera Theatre, North Tonawanda, NY; Nov. 5, State Theatre
    Center for the Arts, Uniontown, PA; Nov. 6, hospital fundraiser (private), Morgantown, WV;
    Nov. 12-30, portion of Japan tour.
Russ Morgan Orchestra directed by Jack Morgan.  Nov. 21, Indiana Roof Ballroom,
    Indianapolis, IN.

    A tribute to Lawrence Welk, "Keep a Song in Your Heart," took place on the 7th of this month in Fargo, ND (some 200 miles northeast of Welk's hometown of Strasburg, ND) when The Jazz Arts Group Big Band performed examples of his music.
    Nat Dickey, the band's lead trombonist, told John Lamb of, the online forum of Fargo-Moorhead, that "His [ Welk's ] legacy as an American entertainer is something folks can take pride in and we can celebrate . . . For those who remember the Welk [ TV ] show, this will be a wonderful piece of nostalgia.  For those who don't, it will be an opportunity to go back in time to a lifestyle or way of entertaining that is probably dying out to a certain extent, now." 
    North Dakota's former first lady, Nancy Jones Schafer, was to play one of Welk's accordions, and a small selection of memorabilia from the Welk Collection at North Dakota State University was on display.

Herb Geller, b.Nov. 2, 1928.  Alto saxophonist with Thornhill '50.
Jim Harwood, b.Nov. 4, 1923.  Trombonist with McKinley '42; Miller AAF '43-'44.
Louise Tobin, b.Nov. 11, 1918.  Vocalist with James '39; Goodman '39; Bradley-McKinley
Georgia Carroll Kyser, b.Nov. 18, 1919.  Widow of Kay Kyser and vocalist with him '43-'45.
Johnny Mandel, b.Nov. 23, 1925.  Trombonist - arranger with Raeburn '45; Rich '46 / '48;
    Shaw '49; Basie '53.  Composer of The Shadow of Your Smile.
Jack Sheldon, b.Nov. 30, 1931.  Trumpeter with Kenton '58-'59; Goodman '59-'60 / '65 /
    '76 / '78.

Tony Agostinelli.  "A Tribute to Dick Johnson," Big Bands International, No.133 / Nov. 2010,
    pp.24-25.  A program honoring Johnson (1925-2010), who, for 25 years led the
    revitalized Artie Shaw Orchestra.
Will Friedwald.  "The Man Who Taught America to Scat," Wall Street Journal, Nov. 6,
    2010.  Review of Alyn Shipton's Hi-De-Ho: The Life of Cab Calloway.  Friedwald
    comments, "Overall, Mr. Shipton is more of a musicologist than a storyteller, and he
    could have done more to document Calloway's pervasive influence on American
    popular culture."
Paul Grondahl.  "A Louis Armstrong pilgrimage," [ Albany, NY ] Times Union, Nov. 21, 2010.
    A brief description of the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens, NY.
Bob Knack.  "Remembering Our Buddy," The Great Escape!, Issue No.21 Nov. / Dec. 2010,
    p.1.  Buddy Hughes, a vocalist with J. Dorsey '46; Thornhill '46 / '49; and Krupa '47-'48,
    who died of cancer at age 91 on August 23, 2010 was also member of "The Browsers" -
    dedicated devotees of the big bands and so named because they were always "browsing
    in record shops."
---.  "So You Want To Lead A Band?," The Great Escape!, Issue No.21 Nov. / Dec. 2010,
    p.1+.  Knack reviews difficult times bandleaders sometimes faced, including fires and
    traffic accidents.
---.  "When Buddy Morrow Met The Browsers," The Great Escape!, Issue No.21 Nov. / Dec.
    2010, p.6.  Knack remembers the music of Buddy Morrow, who passed away on
    September 27, 2010. 
David K. Li and Dan Mangan.  "Artie Shaw's son busted for weapons cache," New York
    [ NY ] Post, Nov. 8, 2010.  Jonathan Shaw, 57, one of Artie Shaw's two sons, was
    charged with having a large cache of guns, knives, and ammunition in a storage locker
    in Manhattan and trying to ship them to his Los Angeles home.  His lawyer said that Shaw
    had legally purchased all of the weapons more than 15 years ago and had receipts for
    all of them.
---.  "Artie's son kept big band of weapons: cops," New York [ NY ] Post, Nov. 9, 2010.
    Jonathan Shaw was freed on $250,000 bail.
Lee Mergner.  "Alyn Shipton: Forensic Clarity," Jazz Times, Nov. 13, 2010.  Interview with
    Shipton about, in part, his new biography of Cab Calloway.
Lucinda Moore.  "Show Time at the Apollo," Smithsonian, Nov. 2010.  Recalling the
    famous theatre in Harlem which presented such bands as Duke Ellington and Lionel
Maria Papadopoulos. "Jazz great Dick Johnson gets a hometown tribute to Brockton High
    School, Brockton [ MA ] Enterprise, Nov. 8, 2010.  More than 1,000 people attended the
    program in honor of Johnson, who died at age 84 on January 10, 2010.  Johnson played
    alto saxophone with Spivak in '52-'53 and Morrow in '56-'57, then played clarinet with and
    directed The Artie Shaw Orchestra from 1983 to 2006.  Radio host and tribute m.c. Ron
    Della Chiesa said “As a youngster growing up in Brockton, Dick told me that Artie Shaw
    was his idol, so it was quite a tribute to him to keep the Artie Shaw band alive.”
Dick Parker.  "That Swingin' Vibin' Redhead," The Great Escape!, Issue No.21 Nov. / Dec.
    2010, p.2.  An appreciation of vibraphonist - bandleader Red Norvo.
Robert Robbins.  "USA News," Big Bands International, No.133 / Nov. 2010, pp.21-23.
    Robbins reports that Jazzed Media producer Graham Carter will making a film
    documentary about Woody Herman titled "Blue Flame."  It is expected to begin
    production early in 2011.
Josef Woodard.  "Hollywood Bowl Stages Big Band Blowout," Down Beat, Nov. 2010,
    pp.20-21.  Review of recent performance which included The Count Basie Orchestra.

go to Big Band Library homepage

compiled by Music Librarian CHRISTOPHER POPA

   Since its founding in 2002 by Richard Tay, Sepia Records in London, England has made some of the wonderful music of the past, including a number of big band titles, available for the first time on CD.
    Sepia's latest batch of releases includes the "Hits of Glenn Miller and Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey in Stereo" (catalog no.1160), and it's, in my opinion, one of their best yet!
    The 24 selections on it were recorded in stereo around the fall of 1957, and released most prominently as "The Great Song Hits of the Glenn Miller Orchestra" and "The Great Song Hits of the Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestras" on Grand Award.
image courtesy of
and © 2010 Sepia Records Ltd.