Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
THE BEST INTRODUCTION TO HAL KEMP'S WORK... OR ALMOST
Anton Garcia Fernandez | Nashville, TN | 10/30/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If this CD included Hal Kemp's closing theme, "(How I'll Miss You) When the Summer Is Gone," it would be the perfect introduction to the music of this great bandleader, who led a band that was the epitome of the sweet bands of the 1930s. As for the sound quality, we must bear in mind that these are, indeed, old recordings, and I know that fans of 1930s dance bands will appreciate the little hiss that can be heard on some of the tracks. To my ears, it does not get in the way of enjoying the magnificent recordings contained herein.
The material is always top quality. The arrangements are equally good and carefully constructed: swinging freely at times, while elegantly restrained some other times. Hal Kemp was a fantastic bandleader whose bands always sounded very tightly-knit, playing intelligent arrangements provided by John Scott Trotter (whose most famous work was done, by the way, for Bing Crosby). As for the vocalists, this release concentrates most specifically on vocals by the great Skinnay Ennis, the greatest singer to ever come out of the Kemp orchestra, though there is also one track by Bob Allen and two by the Lee Wiley-influenced Maxine Gray, whose version of "There's a Small Hotel" is one of the best that I have ever heard.
Finally, the liner notes provide plenty of information about Kemp and the different bands that he led, albeit they lack personnel and session information, which is always desirable, especially if one is interested in a more formal study of dance bands. But all in all, this is a very fine, highly recommended release for anyone interested in getting acquainted with the sound of the great Hal Kemp."
themusiccollector | Chicago, IL | 10/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"# 1. Got A Date With An Angel
# 2. Ah! But I've Learned!
# 3. Shuffle Off To Buffalo
# 4. It's Winter Again
# 5. Forty Second Street
# 6. Long About Sundown
# 7. Serenade For A Wealthy Widow
# 8. You're The Top
# 9. I've Got You Under My Skin
# 10. Lullaby Of Broadway (Vocal: Bob Allen)
# 11. From The Top Of Your Head
# 12. Where Or When (Vocal: Bob Allen)
# 13. I Can't Started
# 14. There's A Small Hotel (Vocal: Maxine Gray)
# 15. Pennies From Heaven (Vocal: Maxine Gray)
# 16. With Plenty Of Money And You"