Warm, Whimsical and Quite Authentic
Danielle Bennignus | 01/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a true fanatic of the music of the 1920's, I was overjoyed to find this album. Previously familiar with the Palm Court's "Down Peacock Alley", I have enjoyed this one even moreso - the group has captured the sound, spirit and elan of the era, and obviously has had a great time doing so.
Anthony Godwin leads a crackerjack orchestra - the artists are perfectly suited to this music, and the recording method is historically accurate. Vintage microphones are utilized, and the ballroom environment creates a wonderful overall warmth of sound. Godwin's talent as a siffleur is featured in "It Must be True" - a real delight for those of us who long for the good old days when whistling was considered an art form. The vocals are great, as well - the singers capture the genuine character of the era's tendencies in popular music.
High points? They're all great, but a few must be mentioned: the aformentioned "It Must be True", a plaintive, graceful foxtrot; "The Sheik of Araby"; "Ain't Misbehavin'" - one of the sweetest arrangements of this classic I've ever heard; and "Horatio Nicholl's Californian Serenade".
So, get this album while you can - I was fortunate enough to find mine in a discount bin at Tower Records, and fell in love with it immediately. It's certainly well worth owning."
This group has certainly "got that swing."
Michael | San Diego, CA United States | 07/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is cheerful, upbeat, eminently danceable music that will have you happily prancing around your living room -- if you enjoy music from this era. The players are mostly from the top orchestras around London -- add an 84 year old jazz violinist -- having a great time playing actual arrangements from the 20's and 30's. Additionally, they sing, whistle and tap dance. The lyrics are often silly, delightful and humorous: from the women's trio singing, "Come on and let's get friendly" to the men's trio exclaiming, "I got those happy feet." Some of the cuts are good for practicing foxtrot, quickstep and tango. You'll have those happy feet, too. A period microphone gives the tenor soloist a sound reminiscent of the era. Recorded in a ball room for authentic balance, this CD really gives me the feeling of a night out at a great night club. An excellent cure for depression, malaise or boredom, if you like music of this period. (Check out the cuts) Most of this is not serious music. It was a reaction to World War I when young people just wanted to have fun. It sounds like this orchestra just wants to have fun, too, after their "day jobs" playing Beethoven and Brahms."