Unforgettable Glenn Miller ($.99 cent special)
January 3, 2015
Glenn Miller (1904-1944) in his recording era 1938-1944 was as popular as the Beatles were in the 60’s to give you an idea of how the United States and Europe embraced his music. This CD offers sixteen of his greatest hits starting with his theme song “Moonlight Serenade” (the tune he changed to give him the Miller sound) and finishing with “A String of Pearls.” What made Miller so popular was the sound he developed which was a small but important change in orchestration/arranging. A clarinet was substituted as the lead of the reed section instead of a sax and the sound became unique unlike any other band.
Included on the CD is “In The Mood” the most popular big band instrumental of all time. The tune is so upbeat it makes you want to get up and dance which is what I think a lot of people did! Included on the CD is Tex Beneke who was a tenor sax player as well as a vocalist. He can be heard on “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree,” and “I’ve Got A Gal in Kalamazoo.” Marian Hutton, The Modernaires, and Ray Eberle are also featured as well as Billy May, Johnny Best, Wilbur Schwartz (clarinet for the Miller sound), and his entire band. The compilation is a nice balance of instrumental, swing numbers, and America tunes that the 50+minutes just fly by for the older generation as well as the new who may have heard this for the first time.
While I enjoy all of the selections if I had to pick one it would be the Jerry Gray/Delange composition “A String of Pearls,” a 1941 tune that was #1 on the billboard charts for two weeks. The brass is a nice blend between trombones and trumpets and the solo exchanges between sax players Beneke and Al Klink make for an easy listening swing number that you won’t forget soon.
The recordings were done before magnetic tape became the master source so these are mastered from the original 78’s and you’ll hear some surface noise a good trade off for a natural sound. A good bargain for $.99 cents