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Blue Berlin - Blue Note plays Irving Berlin
Various Artists
Blue Berlin - Blue Note plays Irving Berlin
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists


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As jazz collections go, this one is a winner...
William E. Adams | Midland, Texas USA | 01/06/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I normally dislike compilations of jazz artists. The mix of featured instruments, styles, moods and recording quality often is less than satisfying. However, a guy named Norman Bates (not the same guy from "Psycho" I hope) really did a good job assembling these 14 performances of Irving Berlin tunes from the Blue Note catalog back in 1992. This disc contains 62- and- a-half minutes of music laid down between 1949 and 1964. Everything's great except the final track, just over a minute long, which is a vocal by Sheila Jordan of "Let's Face the Music and Dance." Her sound did not please me, but I liked everything else. Featured performers are Jackie McLean on alto sax, Horace Parlan on piano, Lou Donaldson on alto, Elmo Hope on piano, Lee Morgan and Miles Davis in separate trumpet renditions, Art Tatum, Jutta Hipp and Bud Powell in separate piano performances, and Hank Mobley on tenor sax. Combining talents are Art Blakey on drums with Paul Chambers on bass; Eddie Davis on tenor sax and Joe Newman on trumpet, and Bud Shank on flute with Bob Cooper on oboe. One track is by Stan Kenton and his Orchestra. Peggy Lee sings a lesser-know Berlin tune, "Maybe It's Because I Love You Too Much" accompanied by the Quincy Jones Orchestra. So you see, the songwriter is one of the best America has produced, and the performers are mostly top-drawer. The CD has a nice balance of swing and ballads, too. You'll have to look for this as a used item, but if you like Irving Berlin's catalogue or Fifties' jazz, this is worth owning."