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I'm Beginning to See the Light - Dance Hits from the Second World War

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Barnes & Noble - David McGee
There's no subtlety about I'm Beginning To See the Light: Dance Hits from World War II, the second in the series of CDs associated with Ken Burns's seven-hour epic The War. It's about getting bodies in motion, and is a sheer delight from the git-go. Opening with Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra's shuffling "C Jam Blues" which features a most unexpected outburst of country fiddle less than a minute into it, the disc goes on to chronicle an astonishing variety of music that fell under the rubric of Big Band -- from the jubilant "In the Mood" courtesy Glenn Miller & Hs Orchestra; to the country swing of Al Dexter's signature tune, "Pistol Packin' Mama"; to the ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
There's no subtlety about I'm Beginning To See the Light: Dance Hits from World War II, the second in the series of CDs associated with Ken Burns's seven-hour epic The War. It's about getting bodies in motion, and is a sheer delight from the git-go. Opening with Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra's shuffling "C Jam Blues" which features a most unexpected outburst of country fiddle less than a minute into it, the disc goes on to chronicle an astonishing variety of music that fell under the rubric of Big Band -- from the jubilant "In the Mood" courtesy Glenn Miller & Hs Orchestra; to the country swing of Al Dexter's signature tune, "Pistol Packin' Mama"; to the loping grace of Erskine Hawkins's "Tuxedo Junction." Artie Shaw's great orchestra of the time is understandably represented twice, with the lush, jittery arrangement of "Frenesi" that features terrific clarinet soloing from Shaw over a lovely string arrangement, and a lighter-than-air string passage buttressing Shaw's keening clarinet soloing on "I'm Confessin'." And it's heartening to see Jimmie Lunceford and Charlie Barnett and their orchestras included, as they boasted two of the hottest lineups of the day, but usually lose out to the household names when these sort of retrospectives are assembled.
All Music Guide - John Bush
I'm Beginning to See the Light is a companion to, but not the soundtrack for, The War, the 2007 PBS miniseries on World War II produced and directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Whereas the soundtrack features a mix of new and old recordings intended to serve the purpose of the miniseries itself "[to explore] the history and horror of World War II from an American perspective...", I'm Beginning to See the Light features only recordings from the WWII era and keeps the mood buoyant and the rhythm upbeat befitting its subtitle, "Dance Hits from the Second World War". Disc producers Steve Berkowitz and Duncan Allardyee selected plenty of popular hits to evoke the era -- "Let Me Off Uptown" by Gene Krupa, "I've Got a Gal In Kalamazoo" by Glenn Miller, "Sing, Sing, Sing" by Benny Goodman -- but fortunately kept the focus on great music no matter what the chart position. The best orchestra of them all during the '40s, Duke Ellington's, leads off with the wonderful "C Jam Blues," and prime contenders like Count Basie, Artie Shaw, and Tommy Dorsey each get a pair of features. Also, the disc includes two songs whose direct theme is the war effort itself -- Basie's "For the Good of Your Country" and Miller's "American Patrol." And, instead of sticking with jazz throughout, the original honky tonk standard "Pistol Packin' Mama" comes early on. Al Dexter's Western swing sounds just fine sandwiched between Coleman Hawkins and Glenn Miller. Whether it's taken as a sampler of excellent, timeless music or as a soundtrack to the times that the documentary illuminates, I'm Beginning to See the Light is a very good set.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/11/2007
  • Label: Rca
  • UPC: 886971453928
  • Catalog Number: 714539

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 C Jam Blues - Duke Ellington's Famous Orchestra (2:38)
  2. 2 Frenesi - Artie Shaw & His Orchestra (3:03)
  3. 3 In the Mood - The Glenn Miller Orchestra (3:34)
  4. 4 Let Me off Uptown - Gene Krupa & His Orchestra (3:04)
  5. 5 Taxi War Dance - Count Basie Orchestra (2:50)
  6. 6 The Sheik of Araby - Coleman Hawkins All Stars (2:58)
  7. 7 Pistol Packin' Mama - Al Dexter and His Troopers (2:48)
  8. 8 American Patrol - The Glenn Miller Orchestra (3:19)
  9. 9 For the Good of Your Country - Count Basie Orchestra (3:15)
  10. 10 Cherokee - Charlie Barnet & His Orchestra (3:15)
  11. 11 Rose Room - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:49)
  12. 12 Opus #1 - Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra (2:56)
  13. 13 I'm Beginning to See the Light - Harry James & His Orchestra (3:13)
  14. 14 Tuxedo Junction - Erskine Hawkins & His Orchestra (3:17)
  15. 15 One O'Clock Jump - Count Basie Orchestra (3:04)
  16. 16 I'm Confessin' - Artie Shaw & His Orchestra (3:23)
  17. 17 (I've Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo - The Glenn Miller Orchestra (3:16)
  18. 18 Boogie Woogie - Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra (3:11)
  19. 19 'Tain't What You Do (It's the Way That You Do It) - Jimmie Lunceford & His Orchestra (3:01)
  20. 20 Sing, Sing, Sing - Benny Goodman & His Orchestra (8:39)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ken Burns Indexed Contributor
Henry "Red" Allen Trumpet
Charlie Barnet Tenor Saxophone
Count Basie Piano
Charlie Christian Electric Guitar
Buck Clayton Trumpet
Buddy DeFranco Clarinet
Roy Eldridge Trumpet, Vocals
Benny Goodman Clarinet
Lionel Hampton Vibes
Erskine Hawkins Trumpet
Harry James Trumpet
Jo Jones Drums
Gene Krupa Drums
Billy May Trumpet
Ray Nance Violin
Buddy Rich Drums
Jimmy Rushing Vocals
Artie Shaw Clarinet
Willie Smith Alto Saxophone
Rex Stewart Cornet
Buddy Tate Tenor Saxophone
Ben Webster Tenor Saxophone
Lester Young Tenor Saxophone
Al Klink Tenor Saxophone
Vido Musso Tenor Saxophone
Gene Rodgers Piano
Howard Smith Piano
The Modernaires Vocals
Coleman Hawkins Tenor Saxophone
Kitty Kallen Vocals
Al Dexter Vocals
Anita O'Day Vocals
Trummy Young Vocals
Walter Page Bass
Tex Beneke Tenor Saxophone, Vocals
Benny Carter Trumpet, Alto Saxophone
Artie Bernstein Bass
Barney Bigard Clarinet
Don Byas Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy Crawford Drums
Tommy Dorsey Trombone
Duke Ellington Piano
Nick Fatool Drums
Fletcher Henderson Piano
Bruce Golden Piano
Haywood Henry Clarinet
J.C. Higginbotham Trombone
Clyde Hurley Trumpet
Manny Klein Trumpet
Lawrence Lucie Guitar
Glenn Miller Trombone
Jimmy Mitchelle Alto Saxophone
Joe "Tricky Sam" Nanton Trombone
Danny Polo Clarinet
Moe Purtill Drums
Allan Reuss Guitar
George Thow Trumpet
Dicky Wells Trombone
Stanley Wrightsman Piano
Corky Corcoran Tenor Saxophone
Walter Johnson Drums
Johnny Williams Jr. Bass
Dick Clark Tenor Saxophone
Technical Credits
Louis Prima Composer
Sy Oliver Arranger
Steven Berkowitz Producer
Ken Burns Producer
Jerry Gray Arranger
Mark Wilder Mastering
Howard Fritzson Art Direction
Lynn Novick Producer
Duncan Allardyce Producer
Sarah Botstein Producer
Maria Triana Mastering
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2012

    I love it! Play it often and never tire of it.

    I love it! Play it often and never tire of it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews