Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
124

Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra: Swinging Sounds of the Great Bands

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count Views
More than 40 years ago, Capitol Records issued the first of nine albums by Glen Gray’s Casa Loma Orchestra saluting the greatest ensembles of the Big Band era (including his own). The twenty selections on Swinging Sounds were collected from those volumes and reissued on CD by one of Gray’s ardent boosters, Tom Daly, who was introduced to the orchestra those many years ago by his late father, John F. Daly. At the time these recordings were made, Gray had been leading a band for many years and was in a position to employ some of the most accomplished sidemen on the West Coast. As a result, the ensemble is as sharp and orderly as one could wish, and its impressions of other well–known bands are dead on target. Perhaps too much so for some listeners. After all, good as Casa Loma is, these are still no more than facsimiles of themes made popular by other bands (with the exeption, that is, of Casa Loma’s own “New No Name Jive”). For those who haven’t heard the music before, Swinging Sounds may be fresh and exciting; these are, after all, among the finest instrumentals ever preserved on record. On the other hand, those who remember the original versions may wonder why someone would bother to copy them note for note and re–record them. But then again, why not? If the songs are that exemplary (and they are), introducing them to a wider audience can’t be harmful, and may do some good. Casa Loma certainly plays them as well as anyone, including even the bands that introduced them. With swing mounting a comeback as the millennium draws to a close, the younger generation should be given a chance to hear what swing was all about when peformed by the finest big bands ever assembled. For a striking overview of how the landscape must have appeared when Basie, Ellington, Goodman, the Dorsey brothers, Harry James, Artie Shaw, Stan Kenton, Les Brown and other remarkable big bands reigned supreme, they could do worse than to begin their enquiry right here.

Track listing: Bugle Call Rag; Leap Frog; Take the “A” Train; Intermission Riff; Night Train; South Rampart Street Parade; Ciribiribin; New No Name Jive; Back Bay Shuffle; Tippin’ In; Opus No. 1; Moten Swing; Cherokee; Jumpin’ at the Woodside; Study in Brown; In the Mood; 720 in the Books; Woodchopper’s Ball; Flying Home; The Elks’ Parade (61:46).

Personnel:

unlisted.

Contact: Eric Records, P. O. Box 2216, San Leandro, CA 94577 (phone 510

| Record Label: Eric Records | Style: Big Band


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
[no cover]
And The Casa Loma...
InRespect
2000
buy
[no cover]
The Best Of The Big...
InRespect
1982
buy
[no cover]
Glen Gray's Greatest!
InRespect
0
buy
[no cover]
Swing Goes On Vol. 1
InRespect
0
buy
[no cover]
Memories Of You /...
InRespect
0
buy
Benny Goodman Benny Goodman
clarinet
Glenn Miller Glenn Miller
trombone
Erskine Hawkins Erskine Hawkins
trumpet
Chick Webb Chick Webb
drums
Stan Kenton Stan Kenton
piano
Artie Shaw Artie Shaw
clarinet
Harry James Harry James
trumpet
Bunny Berigan Bunny Berigan
trumpet

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.