Harold Arlen Sings Sweet and Hot

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
Hyman Arluck, later known as the great American composer Harold Arlen, was born February 15, 1905 in Buffalo, NY and died in New York City on April 23, 1986. The son of a cantor, he became infatuated with jazz and hot dance music, dropped out of school and began writing musical arrangements, playing piano and singing for a living. Songwriting, at first, seems to have been an afterthought. This Living Era collection traces Arlen's gradual rise to maturity using records he made between 1926 and 1954 in front of ensembles led by Red Nichols, Arnold Johnson, Leo Reisman, Joe Venuti, Ray Sinatra, Eugene Hayes, Woody Herman and Ray Matz. Unlike Al Jolson, whose synagogal ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Arwulf Arwulf
Hyman Arluck, later known as the great American composer Harold Arlen, was born February 15, 1905 in Buffalo, NY and died in New York City on April 23, 1986. The son of a cantor, he became infatuated with jazz and hot dance music, dropped out of school and began writing musical arrangements, playing piano and singing for a living. Songwriting, at first, seems to have been an afterthought. This Living Era collection traces Arlen's gradual rise to maturity using records he made between 1926 and 1954 in front of ensembles led by Red Nichols, Arnold Johnson, Leo Reisman, Joe Venuti, Ray Sinatra, Eugene Hayes, Woody Herman and Ray Matz. Unlike Al Jolson, whose synagogal training helped him to develop a rich and powerful voice, Arlen at first sang in a high, thin tone with a delivery ranging from smooth and endearing to rubbery and goose-like; his mannered awkwardness was comparable to the tonsil-tight chortling of Red McKenzie. Everything on this compilation is pleasantly nostalgic, much of it bringing to mind hotel lobbies populated by potted aspidistras and uniformed bell boys. Although the vocal trio used on the 1928 recording of "Happy Go Lucky Lane" seems to have kept Arlen in line, as a lone vocalist he sometimes strayed onto thin ice as he does during his puerile performance of "Pardon Me, Pretty Baby," an unintentionally humorous exercise in self-consciousness backed by excellent jazz players Jimmy Dorsey, Frank Signorelli, Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang. While during the '20s the contrast between top-notch instrumentalists and Arlen's naive sounding pipes bordered upon silliness, during the '30s he really began to sound more dignified. Not all of the songs heard here were composed by Harold Arlen, but most of them were. There is something magical about hearing melodies like "Stormy Weather," "Ill Wind," "Let's Fall in Love" and "As Long As I Live" sung by the man who wrote them. "Over the Rainbow," which Arlen once said seemed best suited to Nelson Eddy, is heard here voiced by Judy Garland with Arlen at the piano in front of an audience at a 1940 ASCAP concert in San Francisco. According to Arlen, "Blues in the Night" was the only authentic blues that he ever wrote. Certainly by the time he sang this version of it with Woody Herman's orchestra in 1941, Harold Arlen was worldly enough to deliver the words convincingly. By 1954 the awkward epiglottal wonder had ripened into a wistful adult who expressed his emotions marvelously, as he does while singing "Last Night When We Were Young" with all the passion and weltschmerz of his years.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/8/2005
  • Label: Asv Living Era
  • UPC: 743625560329
  • Catalog Number: 5603

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Harold Arlen Primary Artist, Piano, Vocals
Judy Garland Vocals
Benny Goodman Clarinet
Woody Herman Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Gene Krupa Drums
Jack Teagarden Trombone, Trumpet
Red Nichols Trumpet
Ray Linn Trumpet
Adrian Rollini Bass Saxophone
Charlie Teagarden Trumpet
Edward Bergman Violin
Larry Binyon Flute, Tenor Saxophone
Frank Carlson Drums
Jimmy Dorsey Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
Cappy Lewis Trumpet
Jerry Rosa Trombone
Arthur Schutt Piano
Jesse Lee Smith Alto Saxophone
Hy White Guitar
Pete Pumiglio Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Jack Russin Piano, Violin
Lew Conrad Violin
Jimmy Horvath Alto Saxophone
Art Miller Bass
Leo Reisman Violin
Sammy Schklar Violin
Lew Sherwood Trumpet
Sid Stoneburn Alto Saxophone
Paul Van Loan Trombone
Ruby Weinstein Trumpet
Jack Shilkret Cello
Jessie Smith Clarinet
Tommy Linehan Piano
Steady Nelson Trumpet
Treg Brown Banjo
Saxie Mansfield Tenor Saxophone
Neal Reid Trombone
Vic Hamann Trombone
Roy Strom Violin
Glenn McGaha Miller Trumpet
Jack McLaughlin Violin
Technical Credits
Harold Arlen Composer
Ira Gershwin Composer
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg Composer
Raymond Klages Composer
Johnny Mercer Composer
Leo Robin Composer
Vincent Rose Composer
Ned Washington Composer
Jack Yellen Composer
Joseph Meyer Composer
Sam M. Lewis Composer
Truman Capote Composer
Gene Gifford Composer
Joe Young Composer
Ted Koehler Composer
Harry Akst Composer
Benny Davis Composer
Alan Bunting Remastering
Jack Meskill Composer
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