Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Similarly Requested CDs
A Historian's View
Tim H. Blessing | Reading, PA United States | 12/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First, it is a shame that the entire Sunset Serenade archives have not been presented as a box set. Since the recordings include all the chatter and the sound of Glenn Miller and Glenn's orchestra interacting with their audience, it allows one to understand the audience of teens and young adults complete with what they wanted; these recordings, even to a professional historian such as myself, constitute a valuable insight into that bygone era. No number of recollections can substitute for actually hearing what people were doing.
The sound is about 95 percent as good as the RCA Victor rereleases. It, very slightly, lacks the clarity of those releases, but one would have to be very demanding to be bothered by the fact that there is slightly less depth of sound and sparkle in these recordings.
The music is superb. It is difficult to find fault with any of the individual cuts, but a few answer the question about whether the Miller organization, with its extreme emphasis on perfection, had become stale by 1941. On the newer arrangements-V for Victory Hop, for instance-the precision of the band and the excitement of the music demonstrates a muscularity and verve not always associated with Miller. (On "V-Hop" the sax section demonstrates something Miller alumni have pointed to--most Mlller recreations have the saxes play like, well, saxes-- while the reality is that the Miller sax section played LOUD. The solos on "V-Hop" are great, too) Even long-term standards such as "Volga Boatmen" come across as exciting and played with excitement. It may be that the interaction with the unusually young live audiences of the Sunset Serenade broadcasts gave an extra spark to the band.
Miller also seems much more animated in bandstand presence than normal and his almost chatty style on these broadcasts allow one to understand why he could reach out to his audiences. Although Miller's reputation as a person has never been high, he comes across as not being as remote or as patronizing as some of the self-consciously serious bandleaders tended to be--Ellington comes to mind here. It may be true that no one ever went broke by underestimating popular tastes in the US, but Miller seems to have an empathy with his audience that such "popular/commercial" leaders as Kyser and Kaye never had. Indeed, these recordings allows one to parallel Miller with Populist artists such as Vachel Lindsay.
So I recommend this strongly and take off one-half star simply because the recordings have not received the same quality remastering as a few other"