In early 1930's and up to the 1950's, with the enormous popularity of the big band style of jazz, especially those bands which catered to romantic ballads, there was plenty of work for big band singers. While the outcome was generally very pretty and sanguine, there was a certain parallel to the music being played with the previous tune and the one that was to follow, e.g., the clarinet lead in on "Moon Face" was not an uncommon practice at all. This technique was similar to the current, in vogue vocal style promoted by the likes of Connee Boswell, Mildred Bailey and Dolly Dawn. La Centra was not unlike many of these, as she fronted a bevy of bands, singing songs that were soon forgotten, with the exception of such classics as "When Your Lover Has Gone". A few rare swing licks were even added to this arrangement). It was almost like La Centra sang while clutching a bouquet of posies to her chest. In sum, this album was representative of the afternoon at the afternoon tea party get together.
Most of the music was recorded by Artie Shaw back in 1934. But the earlier material comes from Shaw aggregations from an earlier band which was not a very successful venture.
Nonetheless, Shaw, La Lentra and the music survived, all to go on to greater heights.
Ted Ono, a veteran producer of music from this era, continues to issue this fashion of music on his Baldwin Street Music label. Like some of his other releases, this is a mixed bag, with the high quality material fortunately far overriding the less enthralling material. You can visit Ted and Baldwin Street Music at http://www.baldwinstreetmusic.com . Finally, there is no scrimping on the amount of music presented on this 2-Fer, more than 2 hours and 15 minutes on the CD.
Track Listing: This Little Piggie Went to Market; A Fortune Teller; South Sea Island
Magic; It Ain't Right"; You're Giving Me a Song and a Dance; Darling, not
Without You; Let's Call a Heart a Heart; There's Something In the Air;
There's Frost on the Moon; Love and Learn; Moon Face; You Can Tell She
Comes from Dixie; No More Tears; Moonlight and Shadows; Trust in Me;
Was It Rain?; Sweet Is the Word for You; Moon Face; When Your Lover
Has Gone; All Dressed up and No Place to Go; If You Ever Should Leave;
Afraid to Dream; Don't Ever Change; The Moon Got in My Eyes; All You
Want to Dance; It's the Natural Thing to Do; The Folks Who Live on the
Hill; Can I Forget You?; Am I in Love?; Please Pardon Us, We're in Love;
Blue Grass; Alexander's Back in Town; A Blind Man Could See That I Love
You; Don't Wait `Til the Night Before Christmas; Fit to Be Tied; What
Harlem Is to Me; The Man I Love; Why Was I Born?; I'll See You in My
Dreams; Now I Lay Me Down to Dream.
Personnel: Frank Guarente; Sterling Bose - Trumpet; Jack Teagarden - Trombone;
Chester Hazlett, Jimmy Dorsey - Clarinet/Alto Saxophone; Matt Hayes -
Tenor Sax; Joe Venuti, Walter Edelstein, Lou Kosloff; Joe Meresco - Piano;
Perry Botkin - Guitar; Artie Bernstein - Bass; Larry Gomar - Drums; ; Artie
Shaw - Clarinet/Arrangement; Lee Castle, Dave Vade - Trumpet; Mike
Michaels - Trombone; Tony Pastor - Tenor Sax; Jerry Gray, Sam
Rosenblum - Violin; Sam Persoff - Viola; Jimmy Oderick - Cello; Zeke
Zarchy - Trombone; Joe Lipman - Piano; Ben Ginsberg - Bass; Sammy
Weiss - Drums; Zarchy, Zeke - Trombone; Frank Siegfeld; Schumann -
Bill; Gene Stultz - Guitar; George Wettling/Buddy Morrow - Drums; John
Beat, Malcolm Crain, Tom diCarlo - Trumpet; Harry Rodgers, George Arcs
- Trumpet; Les Burness - Piano; Al Viola - Guitar; Ben Ginsberg - Bass;
Ciff Lehman - Drums; Jules Rubin; Harry Freeman; Jujus Rub; Angie
Ratline - Trumpet; Jack Lace - Trombone; Raul Ricco - Trombone; Jerry
Sears - Piano; Carl Cress - Guitar; Herb Quigley - Drums