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Farewell Performances
Sgt. Jerry Gray, Army Air Forces Overseas Orchestra
Farewell Performances
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (23) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Sgt. Jerry Gray, Army Air Forces Overseas Orchestra
Title: Farewell Performances
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Hindsight Records
Release Date: 4/8/1994
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Style: Swing Jazz
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 014921024823

CD Reviews

A good-bye to Maj. Miller
Robert C. Topper | Richardson, Texas | 09/26/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This CD may be listed under the name of Jerry Gray, and he was the bandleader at the time, but to everyone involved, especially the band members, this really is the Glenn Miller Army Air Force band in its final performances. By the time these recordings were made in the fall of 1945, the band was named the Army Air Forces Overseas Orchestra, and it had recently returned from Europe to do some final broadcasts. This is the full orchestra, including the 22 piece string section, playing many of the old Miller pre-war favorites such as "In the Mood", "Rhapsody in Blue", "Tuxedo Junction" and "Sun Valley Jump". Also are some of the tunes the military band became known for, including "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" (also in the Miller civilian band's book but not recorded by them) and "Symphony". Two other tunes written for the military band haven't surfaced anywhere else, "Oranges and Lemons" and "Have You Got Any Gum, Chum?" It's surprising that the first of these didn't become a big commercial hit. As these recordings were made from radio broadcasts, we also get some of the introductory announcements, as well as promotional announcements for air force recruiting efforts. A fitting salute to Glenn Miller and the finale to one of the great musical organizations in American history."
The Man Behind Glenn Miller
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This album is a credit to the great Glenn Miller not only for his music but for his forsight in originally hiring Jerry Gray as his lead arranger with his civilian band. Jerry Gray was asked by Glenn Miller to go with him into the Army Air Corp (as it was called at that time) and set up the orchestra with a string section. Jerry Gray was lead violinist for Arti Shaw and was also his lead arranger (Begin the Begine). Jerry Gray was to go with Glenn Miller that fateful day on the flight but he had a cold and told Miller that he would go the next day "with the boys". After Miller was lost Gray led and took over the Miller Orchestra which had mostly Gray's arragnements and this CD is an excellent review of the great Miller music that existed during the war that included a string section led by Jerry Gray. A must CD for true Miller fans."
Jeffrey J. Karpinski | King of Prussia, PA United States | 01/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a fitting closure the story of the AAF Band. Returned from Europe and with Sgt. Jerry Gray conducting (Ray McKinley was involved in setting up his own band), the orchestra made a series of valedictory broadcasts before its members were discharged in late 1945. This CD is taken from air shots of those performances. It's a tribute to the strength of Glenn Miller's leadership that the orchestra sounds just as good in these recordings, nearly a year after he disappeared, as it did under his baton. Although there are many of the AAF standards, it's also interesting to hear how the band was moving to a somewhat more commercial sound, as heard for example in "Autumn Serenade". I confess to shedding a tear or two, knowing that I was listening to the end of the original Miller story. If you are any kind of devotee of the Glenn Miller AAF Band, you need this record in your collection as a final salute to the Major."