Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Some Definitive Sauter-Finegan
Tad Ulrich | Los Angeles, CA United States | 02/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Since this cd is now available at reasonable prices, I think it deserves some long overdue attention. This RCA Bluebird release has the widest and best overall selection of S-F music released thus far, even more so than "The Best of Sauter-Finegan" cd released a couple of years back. But if you have both cd's you are just that much better off. This cd includes the orchestra's work up to 1956 when it was at the peek of its excellence. After that, the band, for the most part, fell off noticeably in inspiration and originality.
Quality-wise, this is a first rate production. You get a thick booklet with complete player personal listings and recording dates for each tune and even the original studio track numbers and track times. You also get informative and interesting liner notes by Stephanie Stein including interviews with Bill Finegan. I should note that this is pretty much an "Artist Selects" cd with the tracks chosen by Mr. Finegan. The only thing not included are photos of the personnel.
The cd was released in 1988 and the mastering is, sadly, with mixed results. One of my all time favorite S-F performances, "Azure Te" is so muddy that the muted trumpets are often barely audible. And much the same can be said for "When Hearts are Young" and "April in Paris" as well. I fear it is a result of deteriorated master tapes. I am just eternally grateful I have LP copies of these tunes in mint condition!
But on the plus side, the rest of the selections sound fine. What's nice is you get five selections from the outstanding "Inside Sauter-Finegan" album. And from that album, I am particularly pleased to have Bill Finegan's and vocalist Sally Sweetland's superb rendition of Autumn Leaves. Wow, what a voice she had! And I'm no vocal authority. But being the rabid S-F fan that I am, every tune on this cd is highly recommended, despite my referenced short comings. There just simply has never been a popular music organization with more collective talent and ability than this one.
It doesn't matter whether you are a Sauter-Finegan fan or not, if you appreciate truly great music performed by the most dedicated and best talent imaginable, you must listen to this music!
Simply ghastly audio
Thomas Bumbera | Maplewood, NJ USA | 03/22/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I well remember how thrilled I was when RCA finally decided to dip into the vaults and reissue some vintage Sauter-Finegan in the CD era. I also remember how horrified I was at the simply ghastly audio quality, all the more deplorable since the recordings by this band were state-of-the-art high fidelity at the time of their original (1952-1956) release. One track even utilizes a stretched tape! I don't know if this was a case of the original master tapes' deterioration of if RCA used sub-masters that had been done for reissues; at any rate, you should avoid this CD like the plague and be happy that Collectors' Choice did a "Best-Of" compilation with excellent sound quality."