Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
By mid-1944, Major Glenn Miller and his band, dubbed the American Band of the Allied Expeditionary Force, were stationed in England, maintaining a rigorous schedule of broadcasts and concerts to boost military morale. The... more »
By mid-1944, Major Glenn Miller and his band, dubbed the American Band of the Allied Expeditionary Force, were stationed in England, maintaining a rigorous schedule of broadcasts and concerts to boost military morale. These two CDs of lost recordings come from six radio shows taped in October and November of that year for the American Broadcasting System in Europe. The shows were directed at German troops, and they're fascinating just as documents, whether Miller is struggling in halting German, describing the band as "a true picture of the great melting pot of America," or introducing a singer with "Sgt. Johnny Desmond, report to Ilse" (the show's announcer) for a rendition of "My Heart Tells Me" sung in German. But it's the quality of the music and the exceptional presence achieved in London's Abbey Road Studios that maintain interest. Miller's hits may have never sounded better, and arranger Jerry Grey is strikingly adroit at blending the big swing band with a full complement of string players on such tunes as "Begin the Beguine." --Stuart Broomer
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GET THE ENGLAND PRESSING!
5% Man | 07/29/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This US pressing is good, but inferior to the English one, which has many additional songs, and several vocals with Dinah Shore. The liner notes even include a letter saying that the recording of "Stardust" with Glenn and Dinah is "propoganda."! Do yourself a favor and search for the English version."
One of the best AAF band recordings available
Jeffrey J. Karpinski | King of Prussia, PA United States | 03/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This set is one of a pair of AAF gems released during the mid '90s. Because most of the sides were made at the famous Abbey Road studios, the fidelity is higher than most of the other AAF releases on the market. The recordings showcase much of the AAF Band's breadth, with many older Miller standards as well as the richer concert sound of the full orchestra with its 21 strings. The only thing missing is an example of the strings-only arrangements found on the companion "Secret Broadcasts". It's also interesting to hear the German-language patter and vocals used as part of the Allies' propaganda effort. I only have 2 gripes: first, unlike the UK version, the US release leaves out the 4 long-lost commercial sides (including 2 Dinah Shore vocals) the band recorded but never released, and second, even though I can understand the German dialogues a translation would have been helpful for those who don't speak the language. In any case, combine this CD with the marvelous "Secret Broadcasts" for a true Miller treat.Addendum -Yes, some of these recordings are considered as "propaganda" (note: keep your spelling checker ON when trying to type this word!) but IMO that only adds to their importance. Miller volunteered for military service with the stated aim of using his music to help the war effort and these recordings show that he did it his way. The narration, both in English and German, doesn't contain any heavy-handed "we will defeat you"-style blathering. Rather, the music is presented as entertainment that crosses national and cultural boundaries and Miller expresses his wishes for eventual peace among nations. There's even a short discussion of how the orchestra members represent different nationalities and religions all working together, with the clear but unspoken aim of rubbing American unity in the face of Nazi hatred. A bit more sophisticated than might be expected for the time, but not surprising, since Glenn Miller was described as a man who "could only [be] fake on his trombone" (- George T. Simon).If that's "propaganda", so be it."
A disappointing release.
Robert Badgley | London,Ontario,Canada | 01/01/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Before the release of this set almost 10 years ago now,I recall all the hype about it.I could hardly wait to get my copy.
When I did I couldn't believe what the producers of this set had done.No it wasn't the selections...there are some very rare pieces here that have finally seen the light of day after more than 50 years.No it wasn't the sound....considering the sources for some of these songs it is a wonder that they sound as good as they do.
No what was wrong here is the speed of the recordings.Each one is either too fast or too slow.I am fortunate that I have an adjustable speed CD player so I have been able to compensate for the faux speed of these recordings.
However considering the care and attention that the Brits made to restore these recordings you'd have thought someone with half an ear would have had the common sense to properly adjust for the inconsistent speeds and record/release them as they should have been.And also considering the price for this set it is just another indignation that further peeves this reviewer no end.
So in as much as I can recommend this set for the material alone as it is historically a genuine musical treasure,I cannot do the same for its' presentation for to me this was just plain(and out of character for Brit releases) sloppiness.Thus it barely rates its' 3 star rating.
Glenn deserves far better."