Hotel Astor Roof, 1942

Hotel Astor Roof, 1942

by Harry James
     
 

Harry James had an auspicious year in 1942. He and the band were featured in Hollywood films and he had a highly ranked radio show, while all the time furiously pursuing Betty Grable. Tenor man Corky Corcoran had joined the band the previous October for what was to become a stay of more than 20 years. JamesSee more details below

Overview

Harry James had an auspicious year in 1942. He and the band were featured in Hollywood films and he had a highly ranked radio show, while all the time furiously pursuing Betty Grable. Tenor man Corky Corcoran had joined the band the previous October for what was to become a stay of more than 20 years. James may have hired Corcoran as much for his ability to play third base as his facility with the horn. Another album from the Jazz Unlimited imprint of Denmark's Storyville label, Hotel Astor Roof, 1942 makes available three previously unreleased radio shows aired from the Astor Hotel in New York City, a venue James was to return to many times over his long career. This was one of James' finest groups. In addition to Corcoran, Helen Forrest was on board as the girl singer. There were solid arrangements by James, Leroy Holmes, and Jack Mathias. During these engagements, James concentrated on playing music for dancing, enhanced by the strings he had added. This obligation was filled by such ballads as "Sleepy Lagoon" and "Manhattan Serenade." Nevertheless, James didn't limit the program to sentimental ballads. In fact, the up-tempo, killer-diller material outnumbers the slow stuff. That he was still a jazz player at heart is borne out as the band goes to town on a rousing "Two O'Clock Jump." His reputation as a versatile player is substantiated with a soulful trumpet on "Memphis Blues," showing that he is equally effective in the lower register as he is in the stratosphere. Forrest gets the limelight on several tunes. Some of them are instantly forgettable like "My Beloved Is Rugged," one of the many songs generated by the Second World War. But her lovely rendition of George & Ira Gershwin's "But Not for Me," one of the album's highlights, provides compensation. Dick Haymes was still in the future, so the boy singer shoes were filled by sax player Johnny McAfee, and filled quite adequately. This CD provides more than an hour of music from one of the most popular and musically well-honed aggregations of the big-band era performing at its peak. Recommended.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/14/2000
Label:
Jazz Unlimited
UPC:
0717101206728
catalogNumber:
2067

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Harry James   Primary Artist,Trumpet,Leader
Helen Forrest   Vocals
Hoyt Bohannon   Trombone
Claude Bowen   Trumpet
Nick Buono   Trumpet
Benny Heller   Guitar
Abraham Hochstein   Violin
Ray Martinez   Violin
Harry Rodgers   Trombone
Johnny MacAfee   Baritone Saxophone,Vocals
Friede   Cello
Claude Lakey   Alto Saxophone
Lerner   Piano
Dalton Rizzotto   Trombone
Micky Scrima   Drums
Thurman Teague   Bass
Corky Corcoran   Tenor Saxophone
Sam Markowitz   Alto Saxophone
Sam Caplan   Violin
Cyril Towbin   Violin
Leo Zorn   Violin
Jack Lee   Violin

Technical Credits

Eric Coates   Composer
Count Basie   Composer
Benny Goodman   Composer
Harry James   Arranger,Composer
W.C. Handy   Composer
Gene DePaul   Composer
Jack Lawrence   Composer
Don Raye   Composer
Seger Ellis   Composer
Harold Adamson   Composer
Louis Alter   Composer
George Norton   Composer
Ferde Grofé   Composer
Carl A. Hällström   Producer,Reissue Producer
Brian Belton   Liner Notes
Alberto Pestalozza   Composer
Evans   Composer

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