Past Perfect, recent release CD

PPCD78143Perfect Big Bands

this page first published by John Wright, 20 Feb 2003
last update 2 February 2012

Another special feature CD is Past Perfect PPCD78143

Perfect Big Bands
(to order, click the image)

title list :-

return to my Past Perfect page

As only an occasional listener to American swing bands this new release from Past Perfect was an education for me. Some of the music was familiar while many of the bands were just names. Having listened to this excellent CD I now have more of a feel for swing music and I'll be looking out for more recordings by those bands that I particularly enjoyed.
There are some 'swing classics' on this CD which even I had heard before - but never with the clarity of sound presented here by Past Perfect - and the other tracks are excellent so I expect this CD would be a welcome addition to the collection of any swing music fan.
The Tommy Dorsey tracks are well chosen - it's always fascinating to hear the young Frank Sinatra before he had developed his unique style, and in East Of The Sun we begin to hear his relaxed attitude to singing as early as 1940. This fine record also features trumpet (Berigan) and trombone (Dorsey) solos. Other classics include Benny Goodman's Let's Dance, Artie Shaw's definitive Begin The Beguine and Glenn Miller's Anvil Chorus. As a contrast the CD features later recordings by these same bands including Glenn Miller's I've Got A Heart Filled With Love recorded in London in 1944. These later numbers feature very distinctive arrangements, and in Goodman's Why Don't You Do Right? there's a stunning vocal by Peggy Lee who I definitely want to hear again.
The Count Basie numbers Do You Wanna Jump, Children? and Doggin' Around were new to me and together they offer fine examples of the Count's delightful keyboard work, Lester Young's sax, and Jimmy Rushing's swingy vocals, wonderful music. I also enjoyed a first hearing of Duke Ellington's Harlem Air Shaft, a real rocker for 1940.
A chronological order of tracks would have helped me trace the development of swing during the years covered, 1935-1947, but Past Perfect have wisely employed Pete Vacher to write a very informative booklet to accompany the Perfect Big Bands so every listener becomes a swing expert with this CD!
I must mention also that I enjoyed Earl Hines Ridin' and Jivin' (I just had to look up my references to find out that the excellent arrangement/composition is by Skippy Williams) and I also liked the offerings from Benny Carter and Ella Fitzgerald. Maybe other titles were not to my liking (e.g. Stan Kenton, Woody Herman) but this CD has wide appeal so I can safely recommend it to anyone with any interest in music from the big band era.
The quality of Part Perfect's audio restoration cannot be faulted. They are now using the Cedar process and again for me their results are amazing (I forget I am listening to music from 78's). Ted Kendall must be congratulated for this production. I've particularly enjoyed playing this CD in the car, an hour long journey down the A45 has never been so enjoyable!!

John Wright

Past Perfect

digitalised re-issues of dance bands, swing bands, jazz and entertainers
available by Tel: 01869 325052, Fax: 01869 325072,
Check out Past Perfect website or return to my Past Perfect page /TD>