terça-feira, 20 de outubro de 2009

Buddy DeFranco - The Best Of The Glenn Miller Orchestra - Volume One

  1. A String Of Pearls
  2. Adios
  3. I've Got A Gal In Kalamazoo
  4. The American Patrol
  5. Tuxedo Junction
  6. Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree
  7. Pennsylvania 6-5000
  8. Serenade In Blue
  9. In The Mood
  10. Caribbean clipper
  11. Along The Santa Fe Trail
  12. Anvil Chorus
  13. Now Is The Hour
  14. Perfidia
  15. My Sentiment
The Best - Volume One

Some of yesterday's Glenn Miller Originals recently gathered in a recording studio to join hearts and horns with some of today's Glenn Miller Replacements, and together they recreated the sounds of the man the Originals knew so well and the Replacements only knew about - even though for many years they have been spreading the sound of his music all over the world.

It was well over a quarter of a century ago when those Originals used to play and live together, proud to be members of the country's #1 band. "It gave you such a wonderful feeling of confidence being in that band," recalls Willie Schwartz, the cherubic lead clarinetist, now a succesful Hollywood studio musician, who returned for this special occasion. "I can still remember that feeling, walking across the floor of the Cafe Rouge to get on the bandstand. Six months before, I would have walked around the perimeter to get there."

They all had their memories - most of them about Glenn, himself. To Chuck Goldstein, the lead singer for the Modernaires and now one of the country's top jingle producers, "Glenn was always the General, but a very kind and thoughtful man." Bobby Hackett, he of the tender cornet that he still blows so well, recalls Miller as "a very honorable man, a very wonderful guy." To Jerry Gray, who composed and arranged some of the band's biggest hits and who now leads his own orchestra in Dallas, Miller was an inspiration. "He always kept encouraging me to write. He was a business man who appreciated music." and to Bill finegan, the band's highly creative arranger who became co-leader of the Sauter-Finegan orchestra, "Glenn was a well-organized corporation executive, and his band reflected his personality."

The rare combination of musicianship and organization ability paid off. In 1937, after having played important roles in the development of Ray Noble's and the Dorsey Brothers' orchestras, glenn formed his own. The first two years were very rough. But, as his close friend and admirer, Benny Goodman, recently put it, "Glenn had a lot of moxie. And he also had a great commercial sense without sacrificing his musical integrity."

Two years later all that talent found pay dirt, literally as well as figuratively, and from 1939 to 1942, when he enlisted in the Army Air Force, Miller had himself the country's top band. And then, in the service, he topped even that band. In 1944, he took his band overseas to play for the troops. In 1945, his men returned. But Glenn never made it.

He had made many plans for his post-war years. He would, of course, have kept his band, and many of his men, those from his civilian band and those from his service band, would have been with him. Paul Tanner, his former trombonist, now a professor at UCLA, who returned just for these recordings, remarked, "If Glenn were around today, I'd still be in that trombone section!"

At first, many of his men returned to the fold to carry on with his music. For nine years, his close friend, Ray McKinley, who drummed in, and led the AAF dance band after Glenn was lost, was the leader, and, after he left, Buddy DeFranco, that brilliant clarinetist, who had played in the bands of Tommy Dorsey and Gene Krupa, two of Miller's closest friends, took over.

It's the DeFranco edition of the Miller band that forms the nucleus on these sides. These are the today's Replacements. As for yesterday's Originals, their return becomes a source of musical joy to every Miller band fan.

First of all, there are the singers: The once youthful Ray Eberle, now suave and mustachioed and sounding better than ever on "Serenade In Blue"; Johnny Desmond, the AAF band's "Creamer", now a successful actor, emoting on "Along The Santa Fe Trail", and pert Dorothy Claire, now also a hit in the theatre, who returns for "Perfidia."

And there are those great vocal backgrounds and foregrounds by the Modernaires, with two of the original members, Chuck Goldstein and Raplh Brewster, joined by Gene Steck, a member of the Crew Chiefs, the service band's vocal group. And of course, there is McKinley, who not only plays drums on two selections, but also sings "Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree" and "I've Got A Gal In Kalamazzo", just the way he did for the service men overseas.

Several of Glenn's civilian musicians paly solo roles here too. Bobby Hackett recreates his famed "String Of Pearls" passage and also contributes to "In The Mood". One of the latter's most famous soloists, Al Klink, who shared the tenor sax spotlight with Tex Beneke and who is now one of the most respected musicians in New York's studios, shows why he was also one of the most respected Miller sidemen via his performances on "String Of Pearls" and "In he Mood". And an AAF band alumnus, jazz trumpeter Bernie Privin, shows how he used to blow for the troops on "Caribbean clipper."

And there are still more Originals manning the sections, like trumpeters Mickey McMickle and Johnny Best of the civilian band, and Zeke Zarchy, who played in both; trombonists Paul Tanner and Johnny Halliburton of the civilian and service bands, respectively; the AAF's Chuck Gentry, who played baritone sax; Carmen Mastren, who strummed the guitar, and bassist Rollie Bundock of the civilian outfit and Trigger Alpert, a Miller favorite, who played in both.

Those are the Originals who returned to the fold for this very special album. Individually and together they blended their talents with those of the Replacements, and, you know, as you listen to these selections, it becomes pretty nearly impossible to tell the men from the boys! Which, come to think of it, may be a tip-off on exactly why the Miller music has endured so long and so well.

George T. Simon

(The Late George T. Simon was both participant in and chronicler of the Swing Era. He helped Glenn Miller organize his original band and produced its first records. Simon wrote numerous books on the subject of Big Bands, including the biography "Glenn Miller And His Orchestra". Hindsight Records respectfully and proudly includes George T. Simon's original notes describing these recordings.)

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