Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Dreams Pleas & Blues
Genres: Jazz, Pop, R&B
Listen to Samples
So, THIS is what the group sounded like!
Lee Hartsfeld | Central Ohio, United States | 11/07/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This CD presents the Ravens on the Columbia label from 1950-1951, mostly produced by Mitch (later "Sing along with") Miller. The material, while consistently interesting, isn't up to the group's National-label efforts of the late 1940s, but the sound quality is superb. If you want to hear what the Ravens actually sounded like, sans muffling and constricted dynamic range, here is your opportunity.Most of the material is up-tempo, and several feature backing by Benny Goodman and/or other Columbia jazz musicians. Typical of early-50s r&b, many of the numbers are in 12-bar-blues form, though there are the usual show-tune numbers ("You foolish thing") and oldies ("That old gang of mine"). The only musical misfire on the set is the disastrous "The Whiffenpoof song," which sounds more like Spike Jones than the Ravens--in fact, sirens and tin-can percussion might have helped. But Ravens fans will want to hear this. I think.The cliched but informative liner notes suggest, simultaneously, that the group was profoundly influential but doomed to failure owing to its failure to change. Yet, the group is clearly ahead of the pack on select tracks, such as the Cloversesque "Midnight blues" and the Moonglows-style "The calypso song." The Ravens are probably the most important black vocal group of the post-war period, with their cross between Mills-Brothers precision and informal "street-corner" harmonizing. Too bad there are so few slow, dreamy ballads in the "Count every star" mode on this set, but this is hardly the fault of the compilers. At least we get the Ravens in amazingly high-fidelity sound."