Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Transcription Performances 1946
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Listen to Samples
Artistically Brilliant, Historically Significant, Commercial
Robert English | Independence, OR USA | 08/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I first found out about this band through some old 78s, recorded around the same time as these transcriptions (in 1946), and have grown to love the band even more after listening to this release. If you like the post-war output of the Woody Herman and Stan Kenton bands, you will enjoy this material.
The recording quality here is quite good, with the sound balance tending to favor the drums on some numbers more than the commercial releases (this proves beneficial on "Dalvatore Sally" which has more power due to the strong drums). Mastering quality is great, scratch-free with good frequency response for the period (pre-HiFi monaural). The only noticeable flaw being some wear noises from the original discs - that is the only reason this disc gets 4 stars; otherwise it merits a 5.
The performances here seem to have an extra spark of energy that is somewhat muted in the commercial releases (heard on the CD "Jewells"). Good examples are "Boyd Meets Stravinsky" and "Two Spoos in an Igloo", which have to be heard to be believed. The ballads, such as "Temptation" and "Blue Prelude", have a fire all their own burning just under the surface.
The trails this band blazed were later well-trod by the likes of Herman, Kenton, and the Sauter-Finegan band. When this music was being recorded, however, nobody could come close to what this band was doing. It still defies categorization, falling somewhere between orchestrated bop and progressive symphonic jazz.
Speaking for myself, I'm still as amazed at the progressive output of this band as I was when I first listened to those 78rpm records. Purchasing this CD is no mere exercise in nostalgia; there is some eternally fresh material here and time has treated it very well."